Will the strongest immigration bill in the country be weakened? Not if we can help it. Call your Senator and make it clear that you want them to pass SB541 if they decide to make any changes to the immigration law. HB658 is NOT acceptable!! Below are some good examples of how HB658 will weaken HB56.
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW HB 658 WEAKENS HB 56? (None of the following are in SB 541.)
Senator Scott Beason, a co-sponsor of HB56, has introduced a bill (SB541) to tweak that legislation and make it easier to enforce and easier to defend in court. Sen. Beason’s bill was approved by a Senate Committee today and heads to the floor for a full vote. HB56’s original sponsor, Rep. Micky Hammon, has also introduced a bill (HB658)to address some issues with the immigration law, but many feel that it changes too much, thus endangering HB56 with the courts, and substantially weakens the original legislation. SB541, however, does exactly what GOP leaders promised they would do–it tweaks the law to make it more effective and more enforceable without making it weaker.
Please call your Legislators ASAP to let them know you support SB541 and want them to stand firm against weakening HB56.
Opponents called the law evil, racist and defamed the character of those who supported it, but their attacks ring somewhat hollow now that evidence has shown it is working. That’s right! Alabama had one of the largest drops in unemployment in the country for the 3rd month in a row! Unemployment has dropped from 9.8% when the law took effect in September 2011 to 8.1% as of December 2011. The December 2011 drop from 8.7% to 8.1% was the largest in the country. Below, Fox News discusses the trend and its correlation to the new immigration law.
Today, U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn lifted a temporary injunction on key parts of Alabama’s new immigration law. Known as the Beason-Hammon Taxpayer and Citizens Protection Act, the law is currently the strongest in the country. The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against the state and asked Judge Blackburn for an injunction to prevent the state from enforcing the law until the matter had been settled in court.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Blackburn issued a temporary injunction for 30 days while she considered the claims. Today’s ruling issued a more permanent injunction on a few provisions of the law, but the majority of the law will be enforced starting October 1.
The Huntsville Times has a good run down of exactly which provisions were allowed to go forward and which were more permanently enjoined.
Blackburn upheld a provision of the state law related to police stops and detentions of people suspected of being in the country illegally.
She also upheld sections requiring schools to check the citizenship status of children and sections that would nullify contracts knowingly entered into with unauthorized aliens.
Blackburn also upheld a section making it a felony for “an alien not lawfully present in the United States” to apply for a license plate, driver’s license, business license or other business license.
On other provisions, Blackburn ruled the state:
» Can’t stop an “unauthorized alien” from seeking work as an employee or independent contractor.
» Can’t prosecute those who assist unauthorized aliens. She blocked a large section that would make it against the law to conceal, harbor, transport or encourage an illegal alien to stay in Alabama. This includes portions of the law referring to landlords.
» Can’t stop businesses from deducting the wages they pay to unauthorized aliens from their state taxes.
» Can’t create a new protected class of workers. The new law would have allowed workers who were fired or not hired in favor of unauthorized aliens to sue employers for discrimination.
Overall, the ruling was a victory for all those who support and believe in the rule of law.
Myth: School officials will be required to determine the immigration status of every student at enrollment and will be able to refuse students without proper documentation and report the parents to the authorities.
Although schools will require a certificate of live birth for all students at enrollment, regardless of the student’s status neither they nor their parents will be punished. In a briefing for the State Board of Education, Tommy Bice, Deputy State School Superintendent for Instructional Services stated, “Those who enroll after Sept. 1 and are unable to provide documentation through a birth certificate that they are U.S. citizens will still be accepted, although they’ll have to go through a multi-step process with the school system.” By obtaining the status of all students, lawmakers in Montgomery will have a better idea of the number of illegal immigrants and how to forecast and plan for the impact their presence may have on public education in the state.
Myth: Officers will be allowed to stop and request proof of citizenship of anyone based upon suspicion.
A law enforcement official may only request proof of citizenship if the individual in question has already committed an offense. In Section 12(a) HB56 states:
“Upon any lawful stop, detention, or arrest made by a state, county, or municipal law enforcement officer of this state in the enforcement of any state law or ordinance of any political subdivision thereof, where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the citizenship and immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.”
Myth: Illegal immigrants pay taxes through rent, sales taxes, and have taxes withheld from their paychecks, therefore they don’t cost us any extra compared to citizens at the same income level.
Tax collections from illegal immigrants do little to offset the balance of fiscal costs. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that in 2010, tax collections for illegal immigrants in Alabama reached $18.2 million compared to the $298 million in costs. According to Wall Street investment firm Bear Sterns, there are at least 5 million illegal workers who are collecting wages on a cash basis and are avoiding both income and FICA taxes.
Myth: Illegal immigrants are the only ones willing to perform menial labor.
With unemployment sky-rocketing to almost 10% in Alabama it is crucial that we protect jobs for citizens of the state. A study by the Center for Immigration Studies indicates that “Mexican immigration is overwhelmingly unskilled and it’s hard to find an economic argument for unskilled immigration because it tends to reduce wages for U.S. workers. Cheap labor from illegal immigration is not “cheap.” It’s subsidized by all of us in the form of our tax dollars paying for their services. It makes a few employers wealthy at the expense of all of us.”
Myth: HB 56 is an unfunded mandate that will cost the state more to enforce.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates the cost of illegal immigrants to the state to be at least $298 million. While it is true that enforcement of the law will cost the state and local law enforcement, in the long run it is expected to save the state money.
Myth: HB 56 makes it illegal to give aid to an illegal immigrant in an emergency.
HB 56 specifically exempts 9irst responders and protection service providers [Section 13(e)]. It also states that a person must “know or recklessly disregard” the fact that a person is in the country illegally for a violation to occur. Good samaritans are not prohibited under this law (Section 13).
Myth: HB 56 prevents Alabama churches from ministering to the illegal immigrant population.
HB 56 does not prevent churches from ministering to anyone. Churches are well protected from state regulations by the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment which states in part:
“SECTION III. The purpose of the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment is to guarantee that the freedom of religion is not burdened by state and local law; and to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious freedom is burdened by government.”--Alabama Constitution
For more information, AFRW White Paper on Immigration
The U.S Supreme Court recently upheld an Arizona law which penalizes employers who hire illegal immigrants by a vote of 5-3. Under the Arizona Law, employers are required to use the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s e-Verify system to verify the work authorization status of an employee. Employers that intentionally violate the law by knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant can lose their business license.
This ruling gives a boost to the comprehensive immigration reform legislation passed by the Alabama legislature last week. Alabama’s answer to immigration reform, also known as HB56, is now one of the strongest in the country. It aims to restore, among other things, depressed wages and lost jobs. With the backing from the Supreme Court in the Arizona case, supporters for immigration reform in Alabama are optimistic HB56 will survive a legal challenge.
Regarding tonight’s passage of immigration reform legislation, Eagle Forum of Alabama spoke with Kris Kobach, one of the nation’s top immigration lawyers and current Kansas Secretary of State, who congratulated the Alabama Legislature on today’s passage of HB56 which he considers to be one of the toughest immigration laws in the country.
“With the enactment of this bill, Alabama now has the strongest law deterring illegal immigration in the country, surpassing even Arizona. I have worked closely with Senate and House leadership to ensure that the Alabama law is drafted carefully. It will pass judicial muster if the ACLU and the open borders crowd decide to take Alabama to court,” said Kobach.
Among other things, HB56 will require a person to present proof of citizenship or residency before voting and prohibit an alien not lawfully present in the U.S. from receiving any state or local public benefits. It will also require employers to verify the legal status of their employees using the Department of Homeland Security’s e-Verify program. Eagle Forum of Alabama has been advocating immigration reform for many years now because of the detrimental effect it has had on our state.
The Alabama Legislature recently passed HB56 which will reform the state’s immigration laws. Eagle Forum of Alabama has supported immigration reform for many years because of the detrimental impact illegal immigration has had on our state. The Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR) documents the annual net cost to the state at $270 million. One legislator estimates this cost could be as high as $600 million when depressed wages, lost jobs, dollars sent out of the U.S., drug addiction, etc. are added. We cannot afford to ignore the problem any longer.
Senator Scott Beason and Representative Micky Hammon have introduced legislation aimed at addressing the problem of illegal immigration for the last several years. With the new Republican majority in the Alabama Legislature, they were finally able to get it passed. The House and Senate passed slightly different versions of HB56 so the legislation will go to conference committee when the legislature returns next week.
The latest version of HB56 will:
As you can see from the summary above, HB56 is a tough, comprehensive solution to our state’s problem with illegal immigration. You can find out how your legislators voted by looking them up on our Find Your Legislator page. If your legislators supported HB56, we’d like to encourage you to call and thank them for their support of the bill, and ask them to do what they can to ensure the bill comes out of conference committee just as strong as possible.
The Alabama Senate will vote on SB256 today. Sponsored by Senator Scott Beason, SB256 will reform our state’s immigration laws.
Eagle Forum urges a YES vote on Final Passage of SB256.
The net ANNUAL cost to Alabamians according to one legislator could be at least $600 million when depressed wages, lost jobs, dollars sent out of the U.S., drug addiction, etc. are added to the $270 m. net annual cost to AL documented at www.fairus.org. We cannot afford NOT to stop it by attrition through cutting off jobs and benefits.
Go to http://alabamaeagle.org/find-your-legislator to find your state legislator and email or call as indicated.
OR you may leave a message at the House switchboard in Montgomery: (334)242-7600.