New Alabama Immigration Law Begs For A National Solution

June 10, 2011
Written by Janice S. Ellis... in
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Anti-immigration rally on the front steps of the Alabama state capitol reveals common characteristics to the racial protests and slurs of an earlier time in U.S. history. Photo: Creative Commons/bamakodaker

While some components of the new Immigration Law passed by the State of Alabama, if enacted, have troubling consequences, could it be the blueprint for the federal legislation that the President and Congress should pass?

No matter which side of the immigration issue you find yourself, the solution will have losses and benefits for all involved. This is not a case of the good guys vs. the bad guys. The government, businesses, and the illegal immigrants share the blame in where we find ourselves today. More than eleven million undocumented immigrants live and work in the United States, with more slipping across our borders daily; many businesses, knowingly, employ them at lower wages to improve their profit margins; and the government is lax on enforcing laws already on the books to stem the tide.

Turning a blind eye, here and there, and doing business as usual with “eyes wide shut” is finally coming home to roost. The issue will not continually be ignored. The Alabama law all but guarantees it.

The Alabama law, if enforced, will finally get this issue out of the perpetual holding pattern it has been in for decades. The law covers most of the major issues that federal legislation needs to address.

The law — in addition to detaining immigrants who cannot produce proof of citizenship — penalizes any person, business, or institution that knowingly transports, hires, houses, or educates undocumented immigrants.

There are concerns about how this law will be carried out. Among them, law enforcement agencies can stop and detain someone they “suspect” of being in the country illegally until they produce proper documentation. In addition to the very real issue of racial profiling, what will happen to those detainees who are here illegally? Imported? Deterred in some kind of make-shift prison or camp?

Another major concern is the children; they have absolutely no say in the decision to come here illegally or to be born here to illegal parents? While they are currently getting a secondary education — they cannot go to college or apply competitively for a job. Now, these children may not be able to get an education at all.

Alabama is not the first state to take the matter into its own hands. First, there was Arizona, followed by Georgia, Utah, Indiana, and now Alabama. (The Supreme Court recently upheld the component of the Arizona law which penalizes businesses for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.) What is to stop other states from accelerating passage of similar legislation?

But the Alabama law, the nation’s toughest to date, screams that it is time for the President and Congress to deal with the immigration issue and pass major federal legislation. With each state taking the issue into its own hands, there is the great potential of creating strife, divisiveness, human rights violations, and atrocities, throwbacks to chapters in our history that we would do well to keep closed.

What is the national policy for addressing the eleven million undocumented immigrants already living and working here? And, what will be done to stop the influx of new one?

As harsh as the Alabama law may appear, it is a wake-up call to the federal government and to the nation that the issue can no longer be skirted.

The state of Alabama has decided how it will deal with illegal immigration. Will the Alabama law become the model?


Alabama immigration law

Submitted by georgeharris on

A questionable Alabama immigration law has just been passed by the state's governor. The law is clearly inspired by the controversial Arizona immigration law approved last year.

Alabama Immigration Law

Submitted by UAB-12F11-12 on

Parts of the law have passed in the state of Alabama. Alabama is continually taking a back row seat in the nation. Many U.S. citizens echo the words, "they are taking our jobs". What jobs are they taking? The type of work that many immigrants are willing to do are needful for society. Some of these jobs include hard, manual labor outdoors. Road constructions, Tyson chicken factories, lawn-care, and gathering crops are just a few to name. With these workers leaving the state of Alabama, someone will have to do and that may mean higher wages for new workers and higher prices for products purchased. May this not be a reoccurring law throughout the land of the free.

The state of Alabama was part

Submitted by EzraU on

The state of Alabama was part of the controversy a year ago over stringent illegal immigration legislation when the governor declared he would champion a tough law. A questionable Alabama immigration law has just been authorized into law. The Arizona law passed last year is the clear inspiration for the law, as it utilizes similar tactics.

immigration law

Submitted by AlexandroAyen on

Alabama is probably the most recent state to start very stringent immigration control. Sections of the regulation have already been stopped, however. The larger constitutional questions of the law, however, could take months to address.
Portions of Alabama immigration law blocked by injunction