My home state is in trouble again. We are running out of people to pick our crops and tackle difficult construction work. We have adopted a stance against illegal immigration that seems to be irritating the more liberal folks out there.
Alabama drew a hard line in the red clay (one that I heartily applaud, by the way), and is getting kicked around for it. This is why:
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act.
The State of Alabama finds that illegal immigration is causing economic hardship and lawlessness in this state and that illegal immigration is encouraged when public agencies within this state provide public benefits without verifying immigration status. Because the costs incurred by school districts for the public elementary and secondary education of children who are aliens not lawfully present in the United States can adversely affect the availability of public education resources to students who are United States citizens or are aliens lawfully present in the United States, the State of Alabama determines that there is a compelling need for the State Board of Education to accurately measure and assess the population of students who are aliens not lawfully present in the United States, in order to forecast and plan for any impact that the presence such population may have on publicly funded education in this state. The State of Alabama further finds that certain practices currently allowed in this state impede and obstruct the enforcement of federal immigration law, undermine the security of our borders, and impermissibly restrict the privileges and immunities of the citizens of Alabama. Therefore, the people of the State of Alabama declare that it is a compelling public interest to discourage illegal immigration by requiring all agencies within this state to fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The State of Alabama also finds that other measures are necessary to ensure the integrity of various governmental programs and services.
Sounds reasonable to me.
There has been a curious backlash. People who are living here perfectly legally are packing their things up and relocating, claiming that they no longer feel welcome. I find this absurd.
Crops are withering on the vine, and no one is around to do the messy stuff. One Alabama farmer said, "I've had people calling me wanting to work. I haven't turned any of them down, but they're not any good. It's hard work, they just don't work like the Hispanics with experience."
Hmmm. Does this mean that every state requiring documentation of the legal status of its citizens will suffer economically? Are we being held hostage by Mexican workers? Are Americans just too darn lazy? Is the current system the modern-day equivalent of slavery? Will there be a revolt? Will the last Hispanic departing the State of Alabama please leave the American flag in place?
My opinions on this issue veer far off the politically correct path. I don't want to press 1 for English. I don't want to wait with a loved one in an emergency room, insurance card in hand, while people who have no legal residence here are treated first. For free. With my tax dollars.
If illegal workers are this vital to our economy, it is time for some new ways of doing business; some thinking out of the tomato box.
I challenge other states to follow Alabama's lead. It is the first step toward reason.
For those who want the full text of HB56:
Relating to illegal immigration; to define terms; to require the Attorney General to attempt to negotiate a Memorandum of Agreement under certain conditions; to require a person to present proof of citizenship and residency before voting; to preclude any state or local government or official from refusing to assist the federal government in the enforcement of federal immigration laws; to prohibit an alien unlawfully present in the United States from receiving any state or local public benefits; to prohibit a person not lawfully present from being eligible on the basis of residence for education benefits; to require business entities or employers seeking economic incentives to verify the employment eligibility of their employees and to provide penalties; to require an illegal alien to possess certain documents already required by federal law and to provide penalties; to prohibit an unauthorized alien from seeking employment in this state and to provide penalties; to require the verification of the legal status of persons by law enforcement officers under certain circumstances; to criminalize certain behavior relating to concealing, harboring, shielding, or attempting to conceal, harbor, or shield unauthorized aliens and to provide penalties; to create the crime of dealing in false identification documents and the crime of vital records identity fraud and to provide penalties; to prohibit a business entity, employer, or public employer from knowingly employing an unauthorized alien and to provide penalties; to prohibit certain deductible business expenses; to make it a discriminatory practice for a business entity or employer to fail to hire a legally present job applicant or discharge an employee while retaining an employee who is an unauthorized alien under certain conditions; to require the verification of legal status of every alien charged with a crime for which bail is required; to amend Section 32-6-9 of the Code of Alabama 1975, relating to driver’s licenses; to require law enforcement to detain any alien whose lawful immigration status cannot be verified under certain conditions; to require notification of the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Alabama Department of Homeland Security when an unlawfully present alien is convicted of state law; to provide for a stay of the provisions of this act when an alien unlawfully present is a victim or critical witness of a crime under certain conditions; to authorize the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to hire state police officers and give the department enforcement power under certain conditions; to provide penalties for solicitation, attempt, or conspiracy to violate this act; to require the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to file a quarterly report with the Legislature under certain conditions; to require the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to establish and maintain an E-Verify employer agent service under certain conditions; to prohibit the enforcement of certain contracts under certain conditions; to require public schools to determine the citizenship and immigration status of students enrolling; to require school districts to compile certain data and submit reports to the State Board of Education; to require the State Board of Education to submit an annual report to the Legislature; to further provide for eligibility and requirements for voter registration; to establish a state election board; to provide duties of the board; to provide that a person may obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate from the Department of Public Health free of charge under certain conditions; to prohibit an alien not lawfully present from entering into a business transaction under certain conditions and provide penalties; to prohibit a landlord from knowingly entering into a rental agreement to harbor an illegal alien and provide penalties; and in connection therewith would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended.
What do you think?
Love from Delta.