Immigration Checks at Schools Illegal - Alabama and the Court
Immigration Checks at Schools Illegal
Why it is that Alabama’s progressive laws are determined to be regressive instead? Well, you see the state does not have a stellar reputation when it comes to discrimination. Bear in mind that discrimination was historically led by Democrats not by Republicans. However today there is a role reversal: “Republican supporters say Alabama's strict new immigration law was intended to force illegal workers out of jobs and help legal residents find work in a state suffering from high unemployment.”
Alabama is trying to curb costly illegal immigration in the state. They passed stringent laws that have been tested in court. Here is a summary of the outcome.
1. You can’t target students
2. You can detain suspected illegal immigrants
3. You cannot charge immigrants for not carrying their documents proving legal status
The net effect is that Hispanics are fleeing the state. Does that mean they are a bunch of illegal immigrants? Probably yes.
The Alabama law and the US Court haggling over it just mean that the Congress and the Executive branch are doing a yet another poor job of governing and enforcing the laws.
Obama gets another “F” and so does Congress – both parties.
“Court halts Ala. schools' checking of immigration status
ATLANTA — Alabama schools may not check the immigration status of students but police may detain immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally, a federal appeals court said Friday in issuing a temporary ruling.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its order after the Justice Department challenged what is considered to be the toughest immigration law in the nation.
The opinion also blocked a part of the law that allows authorities to charge immigrants who do not carry documents proving their legal status.
A final decision on the law won't be made for months to allow time for more arguments.
State officials say the law is needed to protect the jobs of legal residents, but opponents warn it could lead to discrimination.
The Justice Department has called the Alabama law a "sweeping new state regime" and urged the appeals court to forbid states from creating a patchwork of immigration policies. The agency also said the law could strain diplomatic relations with Latin American countries, who have warned the law could impact millions of workers, tourists and students in the U.S.
The law, it said, turns illegal immigrants into a "unique class who cannot lawfully obtain housing, enforce a contract, or send their children to school without fear that enrollment will be used as a tool to seek to detain and remove them and their family members."
"Other states and their citizens are poorly served by the Alabama policy, which seeks to drive aliens from Alabama rather than achieve cooperation with the federal government to resolve a national problem," the attorneys have said in court documents.
State Republicans have long sought to clamp down on illegal immigration and passed the law earlier this year after gaining control of the Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed the measure, saying it was crucial to protect the jobs of legal residents amid the tough economy and high unemployment.
Many Hispanics have left Alabama
Since a federal judge upheld much of the law in late September, many frightened Hispanics have been driven away from Alabama, fearing they could be arrested or targeted by police. Construction workers, landscapers and field hands have stopped showing up for work, and large numbers of Hispanic students have been absent from public schools.
To cope with the labor shortage, Alabama agriculture commissioner John McMillan at one point suggested farmers should consider hiring inmates in the state's work-release program.
It's not clear exactly how many Hispanics have fled the state.
On Wednesday, several poultry factories shut down or scaled back operations and many other businesses closed as Hispanics in Alabama skipped work to protest the law.
The work stoppage was aimed at demonstrating the economic contribution of Alabama's Hispanic immigrants. It was unclear exactly how widespread the protests were, but a poultry company spokesman said officials were reporting unusually high absences at plants in northeast Alabama, where much of the state's chicken industry is based.
In the northeast Alabama town of Albertville, numerous Hispanic-owned businesses along Main Street had the lights off and signs that said they wouldn't be open. Mexican restaurants, a bank that caters to Hispanics, small grocery stores and supermarkets were all shuttered.
Jose Contreras owns a restaurant and store on Main Street. He said he was losing about $2,500 in revenue by shutting down.
"We closed because we need to open the eyes of the people who are operating this state," said Contreras, originally from the Dominican Republic and a U.S. citizen. "It's an example of if the law pushes too much, what will happen."
Republican supporters say Alabama's strict new immigration law was intended to force illegal workers out of jobs and help legal residents find work in a state suffering from high unemployment.
Since a federal judge upheld much of the law two weeks ago, many frightened Hispanics have hid in their homes or fled Alabama. Schools have reported high absentee rates among Hispanic students, and officials said even more students were absent Wednesday, apparently because of the protest.
At Crossville Elementary School in DeKalb County, Principal Ed Burke said about 160 of the school's 600 students weren't in class.
"We normally would have about 20 or 30 out," he said.
Not far from Contreras' businesses, the parking lot was virtually empty at a Wayne Farms poultry plant that employs about 850 people. Company spokesman Frank Singleton said other plants were also reporting unusually high absences.
"We know it's related to the immigration law. I don't think it's going to be just today," he said.
The protests were being promoted partly through Facebook and other social media, as well as a Spanish-language radio station in Birmingham. Supporters say they want to show the economic impact of Hispanic people in Alabama and demonstrate solidarity in opposition to the law.
There are an estimated 185,000 Hispanics in Alabama. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 70 percent of the state's Hispanic residents are Mexican.”