Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Alabama’s Tough Illegal Immigration Law

Last week on June 9th, Alabama Governor signed into effect the new law, HB-5, that is considered the toughest state law yet outlawing illegal immigrants. It allows police to arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant if they're stopped for any other reason. It also requires public schools to determine students' immigration status and makes it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride. Alabama employers are now required to determine if any new worker is in the country legally. bars illegal immigrants from enrolling in or attending college; prohibits them from applying for or soliciting work; and makes it illegal to rent them property.

The new law, known as the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, goes into effect on September 1st. Groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center agree. The groups say they plan to challenge it. In an depressed economy it would be costly for the state to enforce and defend the provisions of the law.

One of the sponsors, Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale said the legislation would create jobs and put unemployed Alabama residents back to work. Oh really?
Lets focus on the real place the jobs went for working Alabamians, the jobs went overseas.(And that’s a whole other post.) The jobs were not taken by the illegal immigrants.

Leaders of the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church have all criticized the law as running counter to the Bible's teaching about loving others.

The Methodist bishop for south Alabama, Paul W. Leeland, joined North Alabama Bishop William H. Willimon on Wednesday in issuing a statement against the new law. You can read the letter written to Governor Robert Bentley, Senator Scott Beason, and Representative Micky Hammon:

It has spit the state, the communities, and the churches. I don’t think this bill will answer the question of jobs or what to do about illegal immigrants.

I grew up in Florida where the majority of the work to harvest the citrus was done by so called illegal immigrants. They were the very ones who did the back breaking, poor paying work on the farms. When the season was over they would move onto the next area of work that was being harvested. I didn’t envy them and I don’t envy them now. I don't like how we treat illegal immigrants like they are either slaves or criminals.

“You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt (Exodus 22:21)

"I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." -- Matthew 25:35

No comments: