Whenever anti-immigrant legislators try to explain why they think Latino voters will still support them, they often say that these voters are a lot more concerned about issues like jobs rather than immigration policy. Or, better yet, they say that Latinos really agree with their views. But we know that the antis are not a reality-based community and if we need to be reminded that this is the case, new polling data shows that Latino Americans continue to rank immigration as their most important concern and it's a pro-immigration viewpoint that they maintain.
It's no longer legally or socially acceptable for leaders in Alabama to pass laws that overtly target African Americans. Fortunately, they have a new outlet for their hate. Alabama can now lay claim to the most anti-immigrant law in the country. Not only has the governor just signed an Arizona-style "papers please" law that allows police to check the immigration status of anyone they think is illegally in the country, but the new law also makes it a crime to provide transportation or housing to someone in the country illegally. To those who remember the Sensenbrenner bill from several years ago making good samaritan acts a felony will find this provision to be a familiar one.
And last but not least, the law requires all schools to check the immigration status of their students. That's a pretty clear violation of the 1982 Plyler v. Doe Supreme Court decision that said that all children have a due process right to a public education regardless of their immigration status. Alabama taxpayers are now going to pay a lot of money to a lot of lawyers and will lose this one in the end. Good thing things are going so well in that state that they've got a lot of money to blow on lawsuits.
The rest of the country has view Alabama negatively since the Civil Rights era and the unbelievable cruelty whites in the state inflicted on their black neighbors. And for the last 40 years, people in the state have tried to convince the rest of the world that they've changed. That's how they've managed to convince all those foreign carmakers to set up shop. If I were in the business of recruiting businesses to Alabama, I'd be pretty nervous right now. I know a lot of progressives in Alabama who have to be feeling pretty depressed right now that the state is sliding back in to its old ways.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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