Determined not to be outdone by Arizona, Alabama assertively staked its claim to the title of most racist state in the nation. Today Alabama, passed a bill making it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride! The unconstitutional bill passed today also requires require law enforcement officers “to attempt to determine the immigration status of a person who they suspect is an unauthorized alien of this country”. How does that not blatantly scream unconstitutional racial profiling? For centuries African Americans were subject to racial discrimination and profiling. Apparently the civil rights that so many fought for still has a long way to go. And it needs to start with its leaders.
The bill also requires schools to check the immigration status of all children and it bars them from entering college, eerily reminiscent of the pre-civil war era when Alabama slave owners tried to keep their slaves uneducated.
Even if racism does not matter to the Alabama Governor or its legislature, one would think that economic reasons matter to them? Nope, not even the economic well-being of its constituents can stand in the way of racism in Alabama. The law will harm Alabama’s economy. Without the 120,000 or so undocumented immigrants Alabama will lose hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues. The state government will waste millions of dollars enforcing this bill, searching every car or person that does not look like an “American”, and prosecuting those that dare to give a ride to a person without lawful status. Moreover, its farmers will lose money as there are simply not enough U.S. workers willing to work in the fields. Furthermore, millions of individuals will boycott the state and Alabaman businesses causing added economic strain.
Unfortunately, these state laws come about from our federal government’s unwillingness to adequately address the issue. The U.S. is built as a nation of immigrants and it still needs immigrants, both educated and uneducated to thrive. Yet, Obama refuses to use his powers to address this issue. How many more atrocious state laws will it take for him to wake up?