September 7, 2011
"We have a real problem with illegal immigration in this country. I campaigned for the toughest immigration laws, and I'm proud of the Legislature for working tirelessly to create the strongest immigration bill in the country."
That’s what Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said on June 9th, 2011, upon the signing of the Yellowhammer State’s new immigration law, HR 56. The law is considered the nation’s strictest anti-illegal immigration measure.
Alabama Sets Nation’s Toughest Immigration Law (Peggy Gargis, Reuters, June 9th, 2011)
The law was scheduled to take effect September 1st, but guess what? It’s been blocked in court by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn. Hopefully it will be upheld.
In the meantime, how about a look at the law to see what the hoopla is all about.
It’s worth pointing out that HR 56 was passed by a Republican-controlled legislature. (It’s the first time Republicans have controlled both House and Senate in 136 years). And it was signed by a Republican governor.
See what Republicans can do at the state level when they have the will to do it?
So what’s in Alabama’s new law ?
If anyone gets stopped by law enforcement , can’t produce documentation,
and is suspected of being illegal, the police can detain him. In fact,
the police are required to detain him.
2. Anybody who knowingly transports, harbors or rents property to an illegal alien is guilty of a crime
3. Businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens are penalized.
4. Businesses are required to use E-Verify for the hiring of new employees.
5. Public schools are required to determine citizenship status of all students.
6. It’s a felony for an illegal alien to register to vote.
7. Illegal aliens can’t attend college.
8. And any contract with an illegal alien is itself illegal!
Unsurprisingly, the law has attracted a lot of hysteria.
"This law is an outrageous throw-back to the pre-Civil Rights era,” said Cecilia Wang of the ACLU.
Did you ever notice how they always bring up that “pre-Civil Rights era” when they want to deflect attention from what is going on in our nation today?
The public school part, even though it doesn’t require any students to get expelled, is a target of criticism.
And there are predictable complaints that the law could cause a “labor shortage” in agriculture and construction. How predictable.
Gene Armstrong, mayor of the community of Allgood puts that in perspective:
"We managed in the past without illegal immigrants to pick the tomatoes here, and I haven't heard anyone say that if we sent them all home nobody would be left to do that work. When you have 9 percent unemployment, I think that some people who might not have wanted those jobs previously might reconsider."
HR 56 has not yet officially taken effect, but there is evidence that it is already scaring illegals away from Alabama. At least that’s what Reuters said in a sob story article entitled Tough Alabama Immigration Law Convinces Some to Move (Monique Fields, Reuters, July 14th, 2011).
The article starts out with an anecdote about an illegal alien couple (from Argentina) who have already left:
“Nicolas Hernandez said goodbye to his parents just days after Alabama lawmakers passed what is being described as the country's toughest crackdown on illegal immigration.His mother and father, undocumented workers at a farm near Birmingham, decided not to chance getting ensnared by the new law and returned to their home country of Argentina.”
The Hernandez family, interestingly, had entered legally years ago on a 3-year medical visa for Nicolas. When that visa expired they just stayed in the country illegally. Now, the parents are going back to Argentina but Nicolas is staying.
After relating the Hernandez family story, Monique Fields waxes poetic about the effect of HR 56:
“How many others have decided to leave Alabama for other states or to return to their home countries before the new law takes effect on September 1 is unclear. But legal and illegal immigrants have flocked to the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama requesting legal help, including parents who might need to return to their native countries and leave a child behind in the United States.”
They might “need” to “leave a child behind”? Why don’t they take their children with them?
Then there are the personal interests:
“Social worker and Spanish translator Jennifer Owen said her livelihood is in jeopardy, and she will be among those who leave the state if the law stands.”
The drafters of the new law, however, are standing firm.
"‘For illegal immigrants to now be leaving the state shows they know Alabama is serious about enforcing its laws,’ said Todd Stacy, a spokesman for Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.”
They had better stand firm, because the new law was besieged by lawsuits.
Quoth Micky Hammon, Alabama House Majority leader:
"These far-left, liberal groups have filed (for) an injunction because those who live here illegally and break our laws with their simple presence are packing up and leaving Alabama. That was the intent of the bill in the first place, to protect our borders and our jobs."
(Reuters, July 21st, 2011)
These courageous leaders in Alabama are fighting for our country, for all of us. They are real patriots.
On August 1st, the Obama Administration, predictably, sued the state of Alabama to stop the new law from taking effect.
The Mexican government is happy about the Obama lawsuit. In fact, on the same day (they watch these matters closely) the SRE (Mexican foreign ministry) released a statement applauding the Obama administration:
“The Government of Mexico…welcomes the decision of the United States Federal Government to take legal action in order to prevent the entry into force of Alabama’s HB 56. The law criminalizes immigration and could lead to the selective application of the law by local authorities.”
“Selective application”? What the Mexican government opposes is the application, period, of U.S. immigration law.
“The Government of Mexico acknowledges the sovereign right of all countries to enact laws and implement public policies in their own territory.”
So what’s the problem?
“At the same time, it reiterates its unwavering commitment to protect, by all available means, the rights and dignity of Mexicans abroad, especially in the case of laws that could lead to the violation of the civil and human rights of our nationals.”
Uh, if these people are illegal aliens, they have no right to be here.
SRE, Communicado #269, August 1st, 2011.
Anyway, the lawsuits began to pile on, and so Mexico got into the act by filing a Friend of the Court brief. Not only that, but Mexico invited 15 other Latin American nations to join it! The other nations are Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Some of those countries send a lot of illegal aliens to the U.S., and some don’t, but I guess it’s just the principle of the thing,
Latin American solidarity or something.
The lawyer representing these 16 nations is Birmingham attorney Edward Still, who says these 16 countries “want to have one immigration law and not 50.”
In the first place, our immigration law is none of their business. In the second place, we do have one immigration law, it’s just that our own government doesn’t want to enforce it!
16 Countries, Including Mexico, File Briefs Against New Alabama Immigration Law (Fox News, August 4th, 2011)
Here’s what the Mexican foreign ministry had to say about the brief:
“ The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that the Government of Mexico filed today a Friend of the Court Brief (Amicus Curiae) before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, in the lawsuit filed by several national and local civil society organizations to challenge the constitutionality of House Bill 56 (Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act)….”
“…Some of its provisions would criminalize immigration and could lead to the selective application of the law.[Any law could be selectively enforced. The solution here, of course, is to detain all the illegal aliens in Alabama. Would the Mexican government like that?] Its enforcement could adversely affect the civil rights of Mexican nationals living in Alabama or visiting that state. [If they’re legal what’s the problem?] HB 56 also contains provisions that require elementary and secondary schools to determine the immigration status of children and their parents upon enrollment as criteria to refer them to certain school programs, which could lead to potential cases of discrimination based on national origin and ethnicity, that could affect Mexicans and U.S. citizens of Mexican descent.”
Notice that last part about “U.S. citizens of Mexican descent.” After all, Mexico claims jurisdiction over them also.
The statement contains this threat, which you can count on to carry out:
“The Government of Mexico will continue to make use of all available means and channels in order to firmly and immediately respond to any violation of the fundamental rights of Mexicans, regardless of their immigration status.”
El Gobierno de México presentó un escrito como “Amigo de la Corte” en la demanda interpuesta contra la ley HB 56 en Alabama (SER, Comunicado #277, August 3rd, 2011) English version
The Montgomery Advertiser reported on August 8th that “About three dozen plaintiffs, including Long, sued to block the law, saying it violates the federal government's supremacy over immigration law and will lead to racial profiling, among other criticisms. The American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Immigration Law Center are representing the plaintiffs in the suit.”
Immigration Lawsuit Plaintiff Says Work with Immigrants Part of Faith (Bryan Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser, August 8th, 2011)
Our country is under invasion, and our government is aiding the invaders. But the valiant efforts of patriots in states such as Alabama and Arizona give us hope. They fight for us all.
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What about the politicians in your state? Could you convince them to enact similar legislation? Just imagine if, every couple of months, another state passed similar legislation. Imagine the momentum,the publicity, the education of the public. Right now, the states are where you find the real action defending our country.
And one more thing. What about all these Republican presidential wannabees wandering about our nation? What do they think about the Alabama law? Would any candidate go on record as supporting it? Is there at least one candidate who would go to Alabama and openly support that state? Would any candidate call on Judge Blackburn to uphold the HR 56 law?
© 2011 Allan Wall - All Rights Reserved
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Allan Wall recently returned to the U.S. after residing many years in Mexico.