Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

Anti-Immigrant Laws — A Disturbing Trend

Posted on February 8th, 2012 by

In 2011, every state legislature considered an immigration-related bill.  Most of these bills were anti-immigrant measures.  In an Issue Brief released on Tuesday [2/7], the Advancement Project reported that more than 1600 immigration bills were introduced in state legislatures throughout the country, and 42 states enacted some kind of anti-immigrant measure.

Photo of a "NO SB1070" Poster in front of White House

Photo: SEIU International

According to the Issue Brief, state immigration bills generally fell into one of four categories:  (1) enforcement bills, authorizing, and in the harshest proposals mandating, police or other state officials to participate in federal enforcement programs and/or identify immigration status during government points of contact, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, or public benefit offices; (2) omnibus bills, which roll a number of related proposals, including enforcement measures, into one bill; (3) budget cuts to programs that serve immigrants; and (4) bills relating to access to higher education, such as barring in-state tuition or financial aid to students without legal status.  The Advancement Project predicts that 2012 will see yet more enforcement and omnibus bills, particularly in states with growing immigrant populations.

The first of the anti-immigrant omnibus bills was passed in Arizona in 2010, with Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah passing “copycat laws” in 2011.  Six states (Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee) introduced similar omnibus bills last year in their state legislature to be considered in 2012, and in Virginia, where state law does not allow for omnibus bills, 11 immigration enforcement bills have already been introduced in the state’s legislature this year. (more…)

Categorized as Immigrant Rights
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Immigration Déjà Vu

Posted on September 1st, 2011 by

Hilary at a rally in Arizona

Rallying against Arizona's SB1070 in Phoenix. Photo Credit: Robert Haasch.

Today, September 1st, was supposed to be the first day that Alabama’s new immigration law would be implemented.  Thankfully, however, Federal Judge Sharon Blackburn temporarily blocked this law from going into effect, and will instead issue a formal ruling by September 28th, giving her more time to review its constitutionality.  Among other things, this law requires that the police detain anyone they suspect of being in the country without proper documentation and that public schools determine the citizenship status of all students. It also makes it a crime to harbor, transport, hire or rent to someone who does not have papers establishing their legal residence in the country.  When Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed this into law last June 9th, it was called the toughest immigration law in the nation.

Sound familiar?

Arizona’s immigration law in 2010, known as SB1070 or the “’Papers, please’ law,” is almost identical to Alabama’s.  Like Alabama, Arizona’s law sent civil rights groups, attorneys, business owners, religious leaders, public officials and human rights advocates (myself included) into a frenzy over this “attrition through enforcement” attack on immigrants, which aims to wear them down so heavily that they are forced to leave country on their own.  Arizona’s law was also blocked, though only partially, just days before it was set to go into effect in July 2010.  As someone who has been on the front lines of the fight against Arizona’s SB1070, Alabama’s timeline is starting to feel eerily familiar. (more…)

Categorized as Immigrant Rights
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