Study looks at SB 1070 impact on Hispanics in Arizona

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What impact did SB 1070 have on Arizona's Hispanic population? One Mexican bank is out with a study claiming Hispanics have fled the state by the thousands.

Call it fear of SB 1070 or a plummeting Arizona economy, It's not clear exactly why Hispanics are leaving the state, But the reality is they are.

"They may be cheering, but this is not a good thing for Arizona," said Kat Rodriguez with Derechos Humanos.

The study conducted by BBVA Bancomer Research estimates there may be one hundred thousand fewer Hispanics in Arizona than before the SB 1070 debate erupted.

The Mexican government says 23,380 of them fled to Mexico.

"I think its a very shortsighted view to think that driving everybody out will make it all better," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez may be right.  Fewer Hispanics in the state could actually hurt the economy.  A study released by the Arizona chamber of commerce says Latino buying power is expected to boom.

"The buying power of the Hispanic community i think that's pretty obvious when you look around this state," said Rodriguez.

The Tucson Hispanic chamber of commerce says the impact of Latinos is clear. Despite an economic downturn across the state, Latino-owned businesses are expanding.

Carlos Portillo, owner of La Fuente Mexican restaurant, has been in business for 30 years.

"We do okay but we have to try 1000% harder than we used to," said Portillo.

He's a survivor of a tough economy. People maybe leaving the state, but he's not going anywhere.

"No, no, no, this is my home," said Portillo.  "No matter what we're going to be here.  And just keep on fighting."

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce's full report on Latino business will be released on November 17.