Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bad Karma for Alabama

From Room for Debate, NY Times

Shame on Alabama

October 4, 2011
Michael A. Olivas, a professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center, is the author of "No Undocumented Child Left Behind."

The long and winding road that is the challenges to Alabama’s Taxpayer H.B. 56 has begun. Federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn has issued various rulings, but they are early, preliminary and procedural skirmishes, so there are no winners and losers yet.

But I have to ask Alabama decisionmakers, why bother? Many of the politicians involved are restrictionists and nativists who insist that they do not want government overreaching in their lives. And yet, they do not seem to mind, in fact insist upon, reaching into the lives of undocumented families, even at the state level.
In enacting this law, the state is punishing innocent children.
Surely it is not large numbers behind this overreaction that is H.B. 56. Immigration Policy Center and Census Bureau figures reveal that in 2010, only 5 percent of Alabamians are Latino (3.9 percent) or Asian (1.1 percent), and in 2009, 87.8 percent of children in Asian families in the state were U.S. citizens, and 85.1 percent of Latino children in the state’s families were U.S. Citizens. With these small communities, why the rush to symbolize intolerance by enacting the country’s most restrictionist and comprehensively anti-immigrant statute?
Such laws are mean-spirited and punitive. The schoolchildren are already not showing up for classes. In enacting bans on college enrollments and counting measures on schoolchildren allowed by law to attend schools since Plyler v. Doe in 1982, Alabamians reveal themselves not as strict constructionists or conservatives, but as ideologues who will use unnecessary legislation and the power of government to intervene in families to punish innocent children. Public shame on them.

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1 comment:

DoraDora91 said...

I agree. Alabama is doing something unnecessary to make a statement and it will end up hurting the moral of the state more than the immigrants. I am from Arizona and when SB1070 passed the economy went into a standstill and many immigrants fled the state. After reading some posts on Latino Voice on the Huff Post I am hurt that so many immigrants are pulling their children out of school and fixed families don't know what will happen next. Just like in AZ, the consequences of the law were not thought through at all. And it's not really to save any taxes because they'll just lose whatever taxes and labor immigrants gave to the state. Ay que Alabama!