Alabama Immigration Law

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Letter to the Editor, Congress, and Senate of the United States of America

            On April 19, 2012 the representation of Alabama citizens failed at protecting civil rights.  On this date the Governor of Alabama passed a law, H.B. 56, that condemned immigrants of the state from living their lives as normal people.  The new law passed requires that no human being who is of “illegal status” in the United States, be given to state and local services.  This law both angered and upset me.  As a human being and an American citizen, I believe in morals and values that stem from places deeper than laws and legislation.  When the law was enforced, many families were forced to uproot their lives and leave for Florida or California where they knew they were more likely to be safe.  To think that a human being in America should have to live in fear of the government is mind-boggling.  Our government was put in place over 200 years ago to protect us citizens, the men and women who live and work in this country, from over the border threats.  Unfortunately as time has gone on we have changed the definition of threat from those that wish to enslave or control us, to those who wish for the same opportunities that we privileged members of society receive.

            Not only does the new law deny amnesties to people of illegal status, but it has also turned into a manhunt. According to the legislature all “hiring, renting property to, or harboring undocumented foreigners” is illegal.  Due to this law new policies have been implemented within precincts that turn regular traffic stops into deportation procedures.  This power of determining who belongs in this country has been left up to the federal government, but now the state of Alabama has decided to take matters into its own hands.  My fear for this law is that it will turn into an outrageous call for eradication of illegal immigrants.  In the process of making the bill a law, many parts were cut out from the final law.  One of them was the requirement for all people living in the state of Alabama to have documentation of their legal citizenship to the United States of America.  While this is supposedly the land of the free, I’m starting to question the definition of free.  Illegal immigrants cannot work, live, or raise their children in the state because people feel it is a privilege and not a right to live and thrive in the United States.  In my personal opinion I do not see the difference between two biologically equal human beings, there is no difference in race, ethnicity, or gender except when it comes to looks. 

            Even though many upper class citizens supported the bill, a large population has proven to be hypocritical.  When surveyed, many house cleaners of illegal status said that the house owners criticized Latinos and threatened that if anyone were caught forging their citizenship, they would be dismissed on site.  While the owners may have sworn to this statement, they don’t follow through because they choose to exploit the workers’ need for money.  It makes me sick to see people treat others with such disrespect and conduct business without upholding moral values. 

            According to the Huffington Post, Alabama legislators chose to ignore the need of illegal immigrants and the impact it would have on the economy.  If just 10,000 illegal immigrants chose to leave this state, the economy would suffer by 40,000,000 dollars.  Apparently the lawmakers feel that this new law would help somehow, but after reading many different statistics I am still confused on what they were thinking.  One Alabama farmer lost 300,000 dollars due to workers fleeing the state.  2,285 children left their schools because their families had to flee to avoid being prosecuted for being in this country illegally.  Another startling statistic is the cost of deporting illegal immigrants.  The average cost of departing ONE illegal immigrant is 28,482 dollars, and since the total number of illegal immigrants in Alabama is 120,000 it would cost well over 2.8 billion dollars to deport every single person.  While I may not be a citizen of Alabama I still feel that all this money the government is spending on deportation is outrageous and ridiculous.  There are so many other problems that Alabama has like the growing homeless population, school funding, and increase need for health care.  I truly believe this law should be reformed and taken away so that the men and women of Alabama can be seen equally.  This issue stems deeper than just the one law though, the citizens of the United States need to stop looking at illegal immigrants as unequal and instead we need to make the application for citizenship easier.  In today’s society we have confused the definition of Rights and Privileges, and this can only be solved through action and social reform.