This article from today’s Philadelphia Inquirer examines the plight of Riverside, NJ, a community that established a series of harsh anti-immigrant ordinances in 2006. These local laws punished anyone who hired or rented to an undocumented person. A series of legal challenges ensued, and the borough council revoked the ordinances the following year.
But it was too late, as many in the community’s Brazilian population had already left town, decimating local businesses and the local economy. Now the community is struggling to change its image as an unwelcoming community, and sees itself as a model for why comprehensive immigration reform is necessary.