Alabama’s harassment of immigrants receives a setback
By Editorial Board, Published: August 22
THE GOAL of attrition through law enforcement for illegal immigrants — or, to use the term Mitt Romney favors, “self-deportation” — has suffered a series of setbacks. The latest came Monday when a draconian immigration law, including one that required public schools to collect information on pupils’ immigration status. It is increasingly clear that Republican state lawmakers and governors have gone too far in their campaign to harass and bully the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants in the hope that they will simply disappear.
Alabama has the distinction of having enacted the nation’s only immigration law that was more aggressive — and more blatantly designed to banish illegal immigrants — than Arizona’s. The idea was to persecute a class of people who had come to the state to fill jobs most Americans don’t want, thus making life so miserable for them that they would leave. State legislators were unmoved by farmers and others who pointed out that the departure of these workers would leave no one to harvest crops and do other jobs critical to the state’s economy.
The law’s most obnoxious provision turned public schools into immigration agent by forcing them to ask enrolling students about their and their parents’ immigration status. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit blocked that measure, saying that it violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment by singling out undocumented students, whose right to a public education was affirmed by the Supreme Court 30 years ago.
One gets the impression that if Alabama lawmakers could have devised a way to criminalize immigrants’ breathing the state’s air, they would have done so. Instead, they threw up an array of other obstacles to immigrants’ ability to live in Alabama. “Essentially, the ability to maintain even a minimal existence is no longer an option for unlawfully present aliens in Alabama,” the court wrote.
The court blocked many of these provisions. One would have criminalized the mere act of seeking or performing work by illegal immigrants. Another would have rendered all contracts with illegal immigrants, including leases and employment contracts, unenforceable in court. Still another would have created a new state crime for failing to carry an alien registration document, which is a federal violation.
While stopping those parts of the law from taking effect, the court, taking its cue from the Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona’s immigration law, let stand so-called show-me-your-papers provisions in laws passed by Alabama and Georgia. Those allow police to demand immigration documents from suspects who have been detained at traffic stops or for other violations.
A separate lawsuit brought by civil rights and Hispanic advocacy groups is attempting to show that this measure will subject minorities, including legal immigrants and native-born Americans, to racial profiling and unjustified detentions and arrests. It remains to be seen how the courts will treat that litigation. If it succeeds, the Republican efforts at the state level to make life untenable for illegal immigrants will have been for naught.
8/23/2012 6:13 PM EDT
Re: Guera85 wrote:
Most Americans do not marry Illegal Aliens like you did , so your flag waving is suspect .
As for the popular defense of the supporters of Illegal Immigration that everyone in the United States is an Immigrant……………………………………………………… this is a technical distinction and lumps newly arrived people who have not contributed , or invested anything with Europeans here since the formation of our Country ,…………………………………… African Americans whose slave labor help build the Country and who suffered tremendous harms that allowed these new migrants to have the rights they enjoy………………………………… , American Indians who were almost totally exterminated………………… and many other Immigrants who have died in Wars and have generations of contributions to our Country and World .
These are the Americans who have earned the right to benefit from the best our Country has to offer and the ones who are suffering great financial harm as Areas like NY have been overrun by Illegal Mexicans most of whom are not paying taxes as you suggest.
As for them not getting Government Benefits at least in New York City this would be another major lie you have told .
In NYC :
-Illegal Aliens send their children to public schools at no cost and not only receive free food and transportation while they are there they been the catalyst for hiring more Teachers who speak Spanish , courses and curriculum taught and read in Spanish only , Soccer and Artistic and cultural focus shifted to Mexican and other Hispanic Students .
-the children of Illegal Aliens get full Medicaid Benefits which in NY City is the most comprehensive Health Coverage anyone can get all at no cost , and their parents can use the Outpatient Departments of any City Hospital and get everything from Doctor Care to Dentistry to Hospitalization all for free.
They derive other benefits as well all without paying Taxes and transferring money out of the Country…………………….. and can only be seen doing jobs that existed before they came , again sticking a fork in the biggest lie that they have only taken jobs that Americans don’t want.
8/23/2012 5:10 PM EDT
Does self deprotation work?
Of course it does and history as well as current events validate it.
That’s why Mexico, Obama and ten other foreign nations sued AZ when SB1070 was issued.
It’s also why eight sanctuary states sued AZ and other states for passing tough anti illegal immigration laws…..becasue all the illegals were leaving the tough law enforcement states and relocating to the sanctuary states which could not afford all the tax paid freebies demanded by the illegals.
Now, to make the policy national. Zero tolerance and a closed border!
8/23/2012 8:23 AM EDT
Wow, the logic of this editorial is illegal immigrants — all of them — are fine upstanding Americans
8/23/2012 4:37 AM EDT
“I know the end game, I know the political and economic elite in the US welcomes the dissolution of the borders and the merging of the peoples of North Amewrica into a huge entity called the North American Union.”
Why so small? Your comment denotes lack of ambition. It will actually reach from the Straight of Behring all the way to the “Estrecho de Magallanes”: From pole to pole!
I don’t know about your plans, but I intend to be either very old, or most likely dead at the time, though…
8/23/2012 4:39 AM EDT
It will be the greatest common market the world has ever seen. We will kick the pants of those sissy Asians and Europeans.
8/23/2012 4:46 AM EDT
In the integration of countries a SINE QUA NON requirement is that all the countries involved have a SIMILAR, COMPARABLE level of economy. Look at Europe.
It will take generations, but if history is an indication, it will happen.
8/23/2012 8:04 AM EDT
Yes, look at Europe.
And having a similar, comparable level of economy was a PRECURSOR to integration, not the result of it. Nor is the integration purely economic. Mexico’s culture of corruption doesn’t make it a good candidate for integration.
8/23/2012 3:00 AM EDT
What needs to be done is clear:
Close the friggin’ border as much as possible.
(1) Wall and Border Patrol [check - Done by Obama]
(2) Internal enforcement [check - Done by Obama]
(3) Issue a biometric, impossible to duplicate SSN card, connected via Internet to the SSA. Such card can stop more border jumpers than the tallest of walls.
Let’s review the progress -or lack thereof- in the 3 categories, shall we?
The border wall has reached the point of diminishing returns and, logically, further construction has ceased.
Internal enforcement: This administration has been breaking annual records of deported folks who have been sent back home in greater numbers than ANY administration in history.
E-Verify sucks. It is voluntary, for starters. It is a simple web lookup, too easy to circumvent. Its use has been banned by some state and city governments. Businesses are adamantly opposed: they joined the administration in a lawsuit.
Alas, the REAL solution, step (3) above, the one that would have support of the businesses and Hispanic community, has been blocked by far conservatives.
8/23/2012 2:08 AM EDT
The problem with the guest worker program is that it’s too slow and inadequate to meet the needs. Even legal immigrants don’t want to come to the state to take these jobs because there is now such an environment of harassment due to the new law, they just prefer to work agriculture jobs in other states where they don’t have to worry about it.
Also as the article I linked to states, if only certains states enact these laws and others don’t, Georgia farmers wind up paying much more for labor than farmers in the states without these laws, thus increasing production costs and making their crops uncompetitive with crops from other states. You should actually read the article. Like I said, it’s easy to be gung ho about it, but the solution is not so simple. As a temporary solution, the State is bringing in prisoners to bring in the crops until they can figure out how the hell to fix the mess they created. Prisoner which by the way, are not a fraction as efficient or skilled at the job. Georgia is losing money over this.
8/23/2012 1:24 AM EDT
Why is it that illegal immigrants are given more rights than Citizens. Why is our Citizenship diluted through these liberal policies. Why is it that our property taxes go up to educate illegal alien children? Why would we tolerate dual Citizenship, birth Citizenship to illegal parents, chain migration, no assimilation, no expectation at all to be in the country? You can go nowhere else and be treated to such a liberal policy. It is vote buying, stacking the deck for the liberal agenda with no thought to consequence. It is not fair to we the Citizens who live and work here. I cannot and do not want to save the world if it means they do not assimilate nor follow the rules or law. I don’t even think we check immunization. No it is the US 0 and Citizens (-).
8/23/2012 12:46 AM EDT
I was in Mexico 3 years ago. In Mexico City I asked a Cop on the street for directions. He engaged me in conversation then he asked for my passport or immigration documents he inspected them returned them, then gave me the directions I asked for. I asked him what would have happened if he wasnt satisfied with or my passport wasnt in order. He replied point blank that I would have been arrested and taken to jail.
The Mighty Upsetter responds:
8/23/2012 12:57 AM EDT
Awesome, let’s base our constitutional protections on what we learned from a Mexican cop looking for a mordida [“the bite” - bribe].
8/23/2012 1:20 AM EDT
Pray tell: To what other chapter of La Constitución de México (or North Korea, or Iran) do you propose we US citizens pledge allegiance?
Any other country’s constitution you like better than ours?
http://www.aa.com (Click on “International Travel, One Way)
8/23/2012 8:18 AM EDT responds:
Ramon, if you’re so hot on our Constitution, then you’ll realize that Congress regulates immigration and naturalization, NOT the President. And it’s also charged with protecting our borders. Illegal immigration is a violation of our borders.
8/23/2012 12:09 AM EDT
Other countries have work visa programs for unskilled labor.
The USA began with an underclass for labor.
8/23/2012 12:22 AM EDT
geo: US capitalism during the cultural revolution BEGAN with needing an underclass for labor; then came unions and gov’t restraints which spread more of the power to the workers.
It is alway blathering stupidity to overlay the cultural values of a later time on that of an earlier one.
Take some courses.
8/23/2012 8:19 AM EDT
We have guest worker programs for unskilled labor. And our immigration policy for permanent immigration emphasizes “family reunification” which results in the immigration of hundreds of thousands of unskilled uneducated family members (who are also workers) each year.
8/22/2012 11:46 PM EDT
The U.S. is far and away the most immigrant friendly country in the world, taking in 20% of the world’s immigrants. We do that with the world’s most backwards immigration policy of letting in the poor and uneducated, compared to any other country’s wealth, income, and/or education requirements put in place to ensure the incoming immigrants will actually be of value to that country and not come in to suck off the nation’s resources. Why would anyone wait to come into the U.S. with proper documentation? Come and get it…. Americans are the suckers who will pay for you and your families (well, the top 10% of Americans who pay the burden of our taxes).
8/22/2012 11:22 PM EDT
What’s truly sad is how liberals and liberal “media” like the WaPo applaud the destruction of our society by criminal interlopers.
8/22/2012 11:45 PM EDT
Thanks to those “criminals’ you eat and dress cheap my dear ‘Christian’ Rpublican
8/22/2012 11:48 PM EDT
Thanks to those criminals, rappahanock, your taxes get increased to support them. Who do you think pays for their “free” medical care? Who do you think pays for the education of their kids? The anchor babies come to school not knowing a word of English plus the Spanish they know is atrocious. They don’t even know their colors and can’t tell red from blue. It costs money to educate these kids—and it’s being done at the expense of American children’s education.
As for dressing “cheap” — read the labels on your clothing. Most likely, it was made in China or a third world country.
8/22/2012 11:11 PM EDT
The Washington Post has become weirdly irrational in its extreme bias. “Undocumented Residents’ the headline says. One supposes that the euphemization of ‘illegal immigrant’ is compete. Next, ‘burglar’ will become ‘uninvited guest’.
Obviously the Post is so viscerally vested in Obama’s re-election that it no longer tries to think, nor pretends to be fair and factual. Journalism is only a word to The Washington Post, not an ethic or a code.
Thank God very few seem to read the internal machinations of this former newspaper, and almost no one believes them…..
8/22/2012 11:45 PM EDT
In these tough economic times, unemployed American citizens will gladly take any honest work. However, jobs that were traditionally done by high school and college students plus senior citizens are being stolen by illegals. Some fast food places won’t even hire Americans because they don’t speak Spanish!
Returning migrants boost Mexico’s middle class
Baltimore puts out welcome mat for immigrants, hoping to stop population decline
By Carol Morello and Luz Lazo, Published: July 24
The fate of Baltimore may rest with immigrants like Alexandra Gonzalez.
A native of Puebla, Mexico, Gonzalez feels more at home in Baltimore with every passing year. She attends city-run nutrition and exercise classes in Spanish and takes her two young children to a Spanish-language storytelling hour at her neighborhood library. She plans to earn a GED and become a teacher.
“I like living here,” said Gonzalez, 24, as she pushed a stroller holding her sleeping 1-year-old daughter and bags of purchases from a dollar store in the blue-collar Highlandtown neighborhood. “They don’t look at you weird because you don’t speak English.”
The degree to which Gonzalez feels welcome is no accident.
After decades of seeing the city’s population slide with every census count, Baltimore officials are trying to turn things around. One key strategy is embracing immigrants, in the hope they will encourage friends and family to join them.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) has told Latinos, in particular, that she is counting on them to help Baltimore gain 10,000 families within a decade. As a first step, she signed an order in March prohibiting police and social agencies from asking anyone about immigration status — and in the order, she explicitly asked federal immigration authorities to tell anyone they arrest that they are not agents of the city.
Baltimore joins an increasing number of U.S. cities, most of them manufacturing behemoths fallen on hard times, that are courting immigrants to reverse half a century of population loss.
The Global Detroit effort includes programs that help immigrants start small businesses, get driver’s licenses and learn English. As part of the Welcome Dayton Plan adopted last year, the Ohio city sponsors a soccer tournament for immigrant teams. Not to be outdone, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) says he wants his home town to be known as the most “immigrant-friendly city in the country.”
The welcome mats thrown out by struggling cities and states stand in stark contrast to the reception immigrants have faced in places such as Arizona and Alabama. There, laws requiring police to ask a person’s immigration status have raised concerns about racial profiling among many immigrants, whether or not they are in the country legally, and many have left because of the stricter laws, as well as the recession.
In the Washington region, Prince William County saw a drop in its immigrant population, both legal and illegal, after it mandated that police make immigration checks.
A new attitude
Baltimore has undergone a shift in attitude. In 2004, then-Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefe (D), a former mayor and governor, chastised immigrants who don’t speak English well after a Spanish-speaking cashier at a McDonald’s had trouble understanding his order.
“I don’t want to adjust to another language,” Schaefer said. “This is the United States. I think they ought to adjust to us.”
Eight years later, Baltimore and many other cities are adjusting.
The 2010 census was a tipping point. Most cities that grew had Hispanics and, to a lesser degree, Asians to thank. Cities with few immigrants lost political power and federal money as district lines and funding formulas changed to reflect new census numbers.
2 more pages
Updated June 30, 2012, 6:41 a.m. ET
America’s New Tiger Immigrants
Asians have arrived in record numbers in recent years and are transforming the terms of the debate
Alabama what you think