Archive for the ‘HB56’ Category

Now you can get coconut milk in Albertville

Monday, September 24th, 2012

That invisible hand of the market is always working, you know? And when the market needed chicken-pickers at $10 a hour, the invisible hand provided. What it provided—shed a tear for us welcoming the huddled masses, y’all!—was Eritrean refugees.

Plants sought refugees because too few local residents were interested or qualified, said Frank Singleton, a spokesman for Wayne Farms, based in Oakwood, Georgia. … Turnover in North Alabama was 50 percent last year, and is now as high as 90 percent in some sperm volume pills plants because replacements didn’t stay, he said. The company is “having to use alternative methods and sourcing,” including recruiting refugees, Singleton said

And naturally, The Market also affected the market:

Changing demographics are reflected on store shelves. Albertville’s main Hispanic grocery, Tienda El Sol, added coconut milk, new varieties of hot peppers and other items to appeal to newcomers, manager Marjorie Centeno said.

My Facebook friend who posted the linked article said only, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.” I’m afraid I don’t have much to add.

Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice Launches Campaign Against HB 56 TODAY, November 21st

Monday, November 21st, 2011

From Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice:

The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice will kick off the campaign against HB 56 at 2:00 PM Central Time TODAY with a news conference in advance of an Ad Hoc Congressional Hearing being held at the Council Chambers on the 3rdFloor of Birmingham City Hall. Present will be a number of key members of Congress, including immigration reform champion, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), who will listen to stories of those who have been affected by the law. Other members of Congress in attendance are as follows:

The members of Congress will hear from a number of people in the community who have witnessed the adverse effects of the law. On panel one, members of Congress will hear from Sheriff Mike Hale, Jefferson County; Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Superintendent Birmingham City Schools; Mary Bauer, Southern Poverty Law Center Attorney; and Mayor William Bell, Birmingham.

Panel two will consist of testimony from Jose Antonio Castro, La Jefa Radio; Y.J., 17 year old student; Angie Baylon Viagra, ESL Teacher Woodlawn and Huffman High School; Alma, concerned parent; Trini, undocumented immigrant from Tuscaloosa; Evangelina Limon, an Alabama business owner; and Francisco Garcia, Alabama Business Owner.

Later in the evening, from 7pm to 9 pm, members of Congress will attend a rally at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmignham, Alabama (there’s a map here, in case you don’t know where it is). The event will officially mark the launch “One Family, One Alabama” Campaign to Repeal HB 56.

Eleven members of Congress, including Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), along with civil rights leaders from around the country, will speak to express the nation’s solidarity with the people of Alabama. State Senator Billy Beasley, sponsor of the proposed bill to repeal HB56, will also speak, along with people whose lives have been damaged by the law.

Also slotted to speak at the event are Zayne Smith, Grassroots leader at ACIJ;Wade Henderson, National Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Mitch Ackerman, SEIU; Hillary Shelton, NAACP, among others. The speakers will address thousands of Alabamians who will gather to challenge Alabama’s state lawmakers to repeal House Bill 56, the nation’s most vicious immigration reform law.

You can check out the full schedule — complete with all the speakers — here. There’ll be more on the events tomorrow. Keep checking back on our page for updates throughout the day, or follow us on twitter @ALimmigrant – we’ll be live-tweeting, using the hashtag #CrisisAL. Stay tuned!

Unintended Consequences, My Aunt Fanny

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Apparently Alabama Republican lawmakers have heard from enough angry constituents that they’re now open to revamping the state’s punitive, stupid immigration law:

“I had a military guy who came back from Afghanistan and went to get him a tag for a new truck and he couldn’t, he needed to show his birth certificate,” said State Senator Gerald Dial, who voted for the law but said he would not have if he had known of some of its “unintended consequences.”

Gee, Gerald. Maybe you should have read it first. When you passed a law that makes it a felony for an undocumented person to transact business with any government entity, what did you think would happen?

HB56 needs to be repealed, and the official repeal campaign kicks off Monday, 7 PM, at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Come out to show your support!


More information here: Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice website and Facebook event.

I Was Thirsty and You Gave Me Nothing To Drink

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Then the King will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” He will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” - Matthew 25:41-45

The Decatur Daily reported yesterday that Decatur Utilities will no longer provide electric, gas, water or sewer service to undocumented immigrants. Huntsville Utilities has instituted the same policy. Because these utilities, and many others in Alabama, are “political subdivisions” of the state, HB56 requires them to determine immigration status of customers and refuse service to those who are undocumented. It also apparently makes felons of legal residents who pay for utility service for mixed-status households.

Section 30 of the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act requires the state and its political subdivisions to confirm that individuals conducting “business transactions” — which the law defines to mean “any transaction” — are legally present in the United States.

The law makes it a felony for a legal resident to enter into a transaction with the state or its subdivisions on behalf of an undocumented immigrant.

The utility companies’ new requirements are only for “individuals and partnerships beginning new service, adding an account to existing service or attempting to restore service after it has been shut off for nonpayment”. And therein lies the rub. Low-income customers are much more likely to be shut off for nonpayment, and immigrants (documented or not) who have been frightened away from their jobs or who depend on seasonal employment are at particularly high risk. Assuming they can get assistance with their utility bills, they now have to go through the “papers please” routine or go without the basic necessities of life and health.

This result was exactly what the Justice Department feared when it asked hgh supplements Judge Sharon Blackburn to strike down Section 30 of the law. Luther Strange, who apparently lives in a bubble somewhere, pooh-poohed those concerns:

State Attorney General Luther Strange argued in a legal brief he filed in August that the Justice Department’s claim was “misinterpreting, or at least exaggerating” the requirements of the law.

“Its fear that Section 30 would prohibit such aliens from having running water or sewer services, for example, has little basis,” Strange wrote.

Apparently it has a mighty big basis, Luther. Meanwhile, bill sponsor Rep. Micky Hammon (R-Decatur) is absolutely thrilled that fellow human beings won’t have access to heat or light or clean water or flush toilets. He also includes a threat to anyone who might want to give a drink to the thirsty.

“Our goal was to prevent any business transactions with any governments. It’s just an extension of the goal of the entire bill — to prevent illegal immigrants from coming to Alabama and to discourage those that are here from putting down roots,” Hammon said.

He said he is pleased with the results.

“It seems to be working,” Hammon said. “We’re seeing a lot of illegal immigrants self-deport.”

Hammon said legal residents also need to pay attention to the law.

“We have a conspiracy clause in there,” Hammon said. “Anybody who assists illegal immigrants through any of these processes will also be guilty of a felony.”

Mr. Hammon, you’re talking about lots of people who put down roots here long ago. They put down roots in large part because many of those businesses that are part of the same associations you list in your biography drew them here with the promise of work. Their children were born and raised here, they are valued employees and members of their communities, and THEY DON’T DESERVE TO BE TREATED LIKE THIS.

For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me…whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

I don’t see any ambiguity there. You know what else I don’t see? Any mention of immigration status.

Jeff Sessions Is Confused

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Stunning, I know. Sessions is flogging a bill that would forbid the Department of Justice from suing states that pass draconian immigration laws. The DOJ says state laws interfere with federal enforcement. Well, duh. Fifty states with fifty different laws would make an already tangled mess a whole lot worse.

At the same time, he’s trying to get the Feds to go after Cook County, Illinois, and other localities for refusing to detain “suspected illegal immigrants” who get arrested beyond the time when they would otherwise be released.

Sessions on Wednesday said he was asking that the federal government “consider taking action against Cook County and other local jurisdictions that purposefully and deliberately undermine the electronic cigarette starter laws of the United States and offer sanctuary to illegal aliens who have broken our laws by entering the country illegally.”

Supporters of Alabama’s HB56 and similar bills claim they wouldn’t be necessary if only the Feds would “do their job”. If that’s really the case, I’m not sure why interfering with the federal government is perfectly fine when it tears apart families and leaves crops rotting in the fields – but all wrong when cash-strapped localities refuse to keep suspected undocumented immigrants in jail until ICE gets around to picking them up.

Of course, one of those approaches denies the humanity of undocumented immigrants, and the other one doesn’t. I guess that explains it.

Frontiers of Racism: The Racist Underpinnings of the Anti-Immigrant Movement

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

From the Center for New Community: Electronic Cigarettes

DOJ Seeking Halt to South Carolina’s New Immigration Law

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Don’t tell me, let me guess — Kris Kobach wrote this one too, right? Or at least “contributed” to it, as it’s modeled on Arizona’s law.

South Carolina’s immigration law requires all police officers to verify the immigration status of anyone they detain, whether it is for a speeding ticket or a murder charge. The law also creates a statewide Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit under the Online Blackjack supervision of the S.C. Department of Public Safety, which also oversees the highway patrol.

I wonder how much money the South Carolina legislature has budgeted to pay for this new unit. I wonder how “small government” conservatives can support this. And I wonder how much money Kobach is making off the taxpayers “helping” Alabama, Arizona and, likely coming soon, South Carolina defend his legislation.

Scott Beason on Herman Cain

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Here’s a quote from the Associated Press story on Herman Cain’s visit to Alabama, published without the slightest bit of context:

Scott Beason, a Republican Alabama state senator, said a Cain win, especially in the Deep South, would be a visible sign of progress.

“It would change the stereotypes play online blackjack at absolute poker that still exist about how people make their decisions down here,” Beason said. “I think it’s ironic that he will do better here than in the so-called enlightened states up north.”

I think it’s ironic that the AP would consider Scott Beason a credible commentator on racial issues.

Scott Beason: Not In My Backyard

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress that her department will not be helping Alabama enforce its new immigration law.  Which makes a lot of sense considering 1) the Department of Justice is in court trying to overturn the law and 2) the federal government has been a little busy deporting record numbers of undocumented immigrants over the past three years.

Of course, there was the usual screaming in comments advocating DEPORT THEM ALL, decrying Obama’s efforts to destroy the United States, complaining about all the communists in Washington, and fear-mongering about illegal INVADERS!!!!1!1!! No consideration of what it would actually cost in taxpayer money to deport 11-12 million people.

Today, Scott Beason weighed in, and he leaves me once again shaking my head in wonder that he can even find his way to Montgomery on a regular basis:

State Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, said the law was intended to push illegal immigrants out of Alabama, not necessarily deport them from the United States, which is a function of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that Napolitano oversees Pokies. Beason said her testimony on Capitol Hill yesterday was not a surprise and that the Alabama law was never intended to be a big referral service to ICE for deportation.

That will certainly come as a surprise to the DEPORT THEM ALL contingent.

“It takes away the attractiveness and the things that draw an illegal workforce and it’s beginning to have a reduction in the number of people coming here,” Beason said. “It was not designed to go out and arrest tremendous numbers of people. Most folks in the state illegally will self-deport and move to states that are supportive of large numbers of illegals coming to their state. We were not putting together a deportation scheme.”

“It takes away the attractiveness and the things that draw an illegal workforce…” Yeah, like farming and construction.  Because no one here in Alabama is in desperate need of home rebuilding or repair.  And we can ship in all our produce from Florida or California or (God forbid) Mexico. Just as long as we can ship our immigrant “problem” to other states.  Brilliant.

Showdown at the, um, Huntsville Marriott

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Just a couple of days after Gov. Bentley said he doesn’t want to be “the face of illegal immigration bills in the country”, his competition will be visiting the state.  Yes, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is coming to Huntsville on Thursday Friday to speak to the Alabama Federation of Republican Women.  The name of the program is, I kid you not, “HIGH NOON for Western summer time pokies Values”.

That dog whistle is so loud I’d think every canine in the state would show up at the Marriott were it not for the fact that most dogs are by nature loving creatures who don’t discriminate based on their humans’ skin color. I’m guessing Bentley will give it a pass too, lest anyone associate him with the hateful, racist immigration bill THAT HE SIGNED.