Arizona’s recently passed immigration bill has prompted many Hispanic families to leave the state before the controversial law goes into effect in late July.
While state authorities have yet to release any official statistics, many schools and businesses have indicated that a large number of legal and illegal residents of Hispanic descent have packed up and left Arizona in the last few weeks, USA Today reports.
Jeffrey Smith, superintendent of the state’s Balsz Elementary School District, told Fox News that 95 students have left the system since the law was signed by Governor Jan Brewer in late April. In contrast, only seven children dropped out of the district during the same period last year. More than 75 percent of Balsz Elementary School District students are Hispanic.
Smith noted that the majority of migrating Hispanics—both legal and illegal—may be headed for a neighboring state where immigration laws are less strict.
"The statement is something like New Mexico is the way Arizona used to be," he told the news source. "I heard one lady say she might go back to Mexico."
Brewer’s spokesman Paul Senseman said last week of the exodus, "If that means that fewer people are breaking the law, that is absolutely an accomplishment."