ANALYSIS OF CHANGES THAT WEAKEN ALABAMA’S IMMIGRATION LAW
By Elois Zeanah, President
Alabama Federation of Republican Women
April 9, 2012
Changes that Weaken our Current Immigration Law in HB658
- Contractors are no longer required to ensure their workers are legal residents
(Section 31-13-9, page 22)
Concern: The primary problem with this change is that the indirect hiring of illegal aliens is through subcontractors. The current law corrected the problem of contractors claiming deniability by holding contractors accountable for ensuring that subcontractors use E-Verify by signing an affidavit. The requirement that subcontractors sign an affidavit attested by a notary, however, was burdensome.
Solution: The solution could be as simple as (1) the contractor including an affidavit on the contract that subcontractors sign, and remove the time/expense of a notary; and (2) the state posting on a state website the names of all businesses which enroll in E-Verify. A click by a contractor would determine if the subcontractor was in compliance with the law. (This should be done in any event to aid enforcement of the law.)
- Citizens can no longer sue state officials who have the responsibility for but refuse to enforce the immigration law (Section 31-13-5, page 10)
Concern: The purpose of this provision in the current immigration law is to prevent Alabama from becoming a sanctuary state. The revision removes this safety valve. The revision to give DA/AG discretion to file a lawsuit based on a complaint can ensure that there will be in most cases no enforcement. To wit:
The overload of DA’s and Courts is so horrendous that even most murders don’t go to trial. It’s unrealistic to think that DA’s would take scarce resources and use hundreds of man-hours to investigate complaints against officials who ignore non-compliance.
A humorous case in point is the Attorney General, who asked that the responsibility for his office to enforce Alabama’s immigration law be removed since he’s too busy already.
In the rare chance that a DA was willing to take precious time to try to chase down proof, their efforts wouldn’t be worth it since the law gives employers a “get out of jail free” card, there’s no civil or criminal sanctions against unlawful employers, and employers can start their unlawful activity all over again.
To put the purpose of the current immigration law in context: The reason for authorizing citizens to sue is to avoid experiences of municipalities, churches, and officials in other states which refuse to comply with or enforce immigration laws. It’s imperative for citizens to have the ability to take civil action, if needed, to prevent Alabama from becoming a sanctuary state because officials won’t perform this legal duties.
Solution: Restore wording in current law.
- Employers who fire workers to hire illegals now get virtual immunity since the bar of proof has been raised prohibitively high. (Section 31-13-17, pages 58-59)
Concerns: Revisions make it impossible for wronged citizen-workers to sue employers who fire and replace them with illegal-workers or discriminate against them in other ways in favor of illegal aliens.
While the current law is a clear, concise, single paragraph, stating that a citizen-employee can sue an employer for hiring/retaining an illegal alien and discriminating against him/her, revisions ADD more than a page, detailing what the citizen-employee must do to prevail; and REMOVE language that the losing party must pay court costs and reasonable attorney fees for the prevailing party.
Even if the citizen-employee wins in court, employers are not penalized for hiring illegal aliens and there’s no language that employers must terminate illegal workers. Nor do convicted employers have to pay a fine, face jail time, be put on probation, or lose licenses. Courts are prohibited from charging convicted employers of any civil or criminal crimes or be asked to pay sanctions. Recovery by employees is limited to compensatory relief (not spelled out). They do not get their jobs back and do not get attorney/court costs paid, though they won.
While provisions prohibit courts from placing civil or criminal penalties against convicted employers, a NEW provision makes it mandatory that a person who files a complaint against an employer shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor if it is considered false or frivolous.
Solution: Restore language in the current law.
- Public schools will no longer collect data on children of illegal aliens to help the state budget for their fiscal impact. (Section 31-13-27, page 66)
Concern: The current law directs schools to compile information to help identify fiscal impacts to the state of providing a free education to children of illegal aliens. We know that ESL classes costs the state over $200,000 every year. Shouldn’t the state/schools be aware of the full costs – especially when the state budget is in a crunch and the state has to cut some functions by at least 20%? How can the state otherwise budget for these escalating costs at a time when teachers are being let go, there’s no money to buy textbooks or classroom supplies, and the state board of education has forced schools to implement national Common Core standards, which will cost taxpayers an additional hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The information requested is nothing different than is currently required of all citizen parents. Laws should be equally applied to all. Repeal of this section is apparently an effort to be “politically correct”.
Solution: Restore the language in the current law.
- Landlords can now knowingly rent to illegal aliens. (Section 31-13-13, page 41)
Concern: Changes repeals the section in the current law that makes it a crime for a landlord to knowingly rent to illegal aliens. Current law prohibits concealing, harboring, shielding, encouraging illegal aliens to come to/remain in Alabama. It classifies the willful renting to illegal aliens, while knowing they were in the state unlawfully, as harboring. Current law tracks federal law. Section 31-13-13, page 40 is of similar concern. This repeals the section that makes it a crime to encourage or induce an illegal alien to move to Alabama if that person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that coming to or residing in Alabama is against federal law.
Solution: Restore the language in the current law.
- An additional concern is that added authority for the Department of Homeland Security is internally inconsistent. The added authority for Homeland Security to request proof of enrollment in E-Verify when a complaint is filed against an employer and to inspect records of employers and check employees against E-Verify is laudable. However, this requires unnecessary time/resources and is internally inconsistent.
Section 13-13-15(b), page 46, mandates that ALL employers enroll in E-Verify. However, this revision does not penalize the employer for failure/refusal to enroll in E-Verify.
For this revision to be meaningful, the bill must penalize employers found to be in non-compliance with this immigration law. If there is no pain for violation immigration law, there is no deterrent factor for dishonest employers. This makes a mockery of the law.
Solution: Make the failure to enroll in E-Verify a misdemeanor, as Arizona does. This would make enforcement easier, faster, less expense, and more sure in many instances.
CURRENT – APRIL 25TH
URGENT ACTION ~ YOU MUST HELP SAVE OUR IMMIGRATION LAW!!
I’m stricken with sadness and disbelief. It appears that the House and Senate Leaders have decided how Senators will vote and which immigration bill will pass; and it doesn’t matter what constituents want, or how democratic or transparent the process is or appears. Please read the red-highlighted text below.
The fact that Marsh states that HB 658 “has always been the one the leadership plan to pursue” without any consideration for a Senate bill (a perfect one at that in SB 541!) and without consideration for what constituents support troubles me immensely. It’s apparent HB 658 was wired from the beginning.
I’m willing to travel to Montgomery to speak again tomorrow on your behalf. Do you think it’s worth a trip to Montgomery tomorrow to speak for “We the People” to get something on the record? I got a tip (you won’t believe the source) that the committee tomorrow will restrict speakers to only three. Can you believe this? At the moment I’m in shock and can’t decide what I should do. If I go, I’ll get there an hour early. It might not make any difference. I was the first to sign up for the public hearing that Micky Hammon chaired, and he called me last. But I’m still willing to go.
We’re a team. What would you have me do?
Thanks so much!
Alabama Senate to consider revisions to immigration law on Tuesday
First Posted: April 24, 2012 – 8:25 pm
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The leadership of the Alabama Senate plans to address changes to the state’s tough immigration law on Tuesday.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said the Senate will take up a House-passed bill to revise the immigration law rather than one being pushed by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale. Marsh said the House-passed bill has had input from lots of groups and legislators and had always been the one the leadership plan to pursue.
Marsh predicted the Senate Judiciary Committee will approve Hammon’s bill on Wednesday, which will put it in line for Senate debate on Tuesday. He said the Senate may incorporate some of Beason’s ideas into Hammon’s bill.
Opponents complained that the Republican leadership is rushing through the bill without proper study, but Marsh said the legislative session is nearing an end.
The Senate Job Creation and Economic Development Committee voted 7-1 Tuesday to approve Beason’s bill, which makes fewer changes in the law than the bill Republican Rep. Micky Hammon of Decatur got passed in the House on April 19.
Hammon and Beason sponsored the law that the Legislature enacted in June 2011, but they are taking different approaches to modifying it to address concerns raised by business groups and government officials.
Beason’s bill doesn’t change the section of the law that allows police officers to demand proof of citizenship during a traffic stop if they have reasonable suspicion of illegal immigration. Hammon restricts it to cases where an arrest occurs or ticket is issued. Beason said that part of Alabama’s law matches Arizona’s law, and it shouldn’t be changed until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on Arizona’s law.
Hammon’s bill takes out a requirement for schools to check the residency status of new students, which has been put on hold by a federal court. Beason’s bill leaves that section in the law.
Beason said he didn’t want to make major changes while a legal challenge of Alabama’s law is pending at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta because the judges could rule that the law has been changed so much that the legal challenge must go back to a lower court to start over.
“If it got sent back down, we could go years without an anti-illegal immigration law,” Beason said.
Both bills add a military ID to the acceptable forms of identification to prove legal residency. Beason’s bill also clarifies a portion of the bill that requires proof of residency when conducting a business transaction with state, county and city government. Beason’s bill said identification is only needed for government-issued licenses and isn’t necessary for ordinary transactions, such as signing up for water service or buying a ticket at a city civic center.
Democratic Sen. Linda Coleman of Birmingham, who cast the lone nay vote, said, “I don’t think this bill fixes anything.”
Immigrants concerned about the 2011 law overflowed the committee’s tiny meeting room, which only seats about 20 spectators.
Raul Jimenez, a Mexican immigrant who does construction work in Clanton, said he has been saving money to open a restaurant, but the law makes him feel unwelcome in Alabama. He said the Legislature should repeal the law rather than approving Beason’s or Hammon’s changes.
“We want to help the economy in this beautiful state, but this law doesn’t let us,” he said.
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Well, here we go again! It seems we are in a battle to keep our new immigration law, and those we are doing battle with are our elective officials. The battle to weaken Alabama’s Illegal Alien Law is intensifying. Media reports that Attorney General Luther Strange is proposing serious revisions and some of our lawmakers are expressing willingness to let him get away with it.
Do Not Weaken or Expropriate the Law – Make it Stronger!
Reports that our Legislative and Administration leaders are planning to draft revisions to the bill and submit them before, or during, the 2012 legislative session. If this is the case, it is important that they hear from “We the Citizens” of Alabama and all of the grassroots organizations. This needs to be large joint effort. They need to know what we the citizens think about this bill, the citizens that elected them, not just the lobbyists and left-wing cause groups that are making the most noise. This is our State, we are the legal citizens, we must defend her for our posterity.
One of our state leaders said,“The ink has barely dried on HB56 and we are faced with a fight to ensure the survival of vital parts of this bill.A simple request by our GOP leadership to our esteemed Attorney General to “fine tune” certain portions to ensure clarity and strengthen the bill has been interpreted by the A.G . as an opportunity to make “suggestions” to needlessly repeal orrevise certain sections of HB56. Mr.Big (Luther Strange) states that his “suggestions” are “limited” to ways that the policy choicesof the legislature may be made more defensible in a court of law.His idea of “more defensible” obviously means not having to defend it at all–at least not sections where heavy lifting is required.Folks–understand this–we are talking about a bill that was supposedly gone over with a fine-toothed-comb, vetted by constitutional scholars, scrutinized by experts far and wide,etc,etc. Where was the Attorney General while this was going on? Wouldn’t it standto reason that the one person tasked to enforce and defend this law should have put his two cents worth in prior to passage of this bill?Reputable sources have stated that A.G. Luther Strange was never in favor of this bill, possibly due to his connections to groups such as the Birmingham Business Alliance, one of several business groups across the state that are squealing like stuck pigs now that their source of cheap, under-the-table illegal alien labor has been taken away. A.G Strange requested and received from the legislature exemption from having to enforce this law. His stated reason was something to the effect that it would be too much work for his office. I would suggest that he wanted to keep his hands clean and appease certain interests. The facts are that (1) he went above and beyond a simple request to clarify and strengthen this bill to instead opt for a full-speed-ahead,damn-the-torpedoes approach obviously aimed at neutering or eliminating vital portions of this bill (2) Encouraged and emboldened illegal aliens, the liberal media, certain business groups and others benefiting in some form or fashion from cheap illegal labor and (3) jeopardized current and future defense and litigation.This man spent years as a lobbyist in Washington actively working for corporate interests. Could it be that he is still furthering some of those or other interests thru inaction? I would suggest that- in light of this specific exemption not to have to enforce this law and in light of his “suggestions” to dispense with certain portions of HB56 to make it easier to defend, I think we have to ask ourselves the same question that Gov. Chris Christie asked of Obama…” What the h___ are we paying this man for?” This man has clearly abdicated his responsibility to both enforce and defend this bill. I suggest to the good citizens of this state that we ask for and receive our own exemption–that of Attorney General Luther Strange.”
Tony Llewellyn, Athens-Limestone Tea Party
So that being said (and said well I might add), we are as we always are, ready to defend our rights. Please take some time to do the following:
Do Not Weaken or Expropriate the Law – Make it Stronger! We Support the Law!
1. Contact your Alabama State Senator and Representative by phone. Let them know that they will be singled out if they do not stand with our group “We Dare Defend Our Rights” and “We The Citizens” of Alabama.
(for Alabama Senate contact information go here and for Alabama House here)
2. Follow up with a hand-written letter expressing your concern that the law, as it stands, is being undermined and the Legislature needs to leave the bill as written and passed.
(for Alabama Senate contact information go here and for Alabama House here)
3. Find 3 others to do the same.
4. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper and the paper of the largest city near you expressing support for the bill.
5. Make follow up phone calls each week until you get a firm response.
6. As an extra punch, individualized Bright Post Cards can be sent via:
Splash Their Mail.com! Go here.
Please post your progress and your Legislatures responses.
the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country: patterns of immigration from the Indian sub-continent to Britain.
contrary to or forbidden by law, esp. criminal law: illegal drugs.
alien |ˈālyən, ˈālēən|
belonging to a foreign country or nation.
The term is “illegal alien” not “illegal immigrant” (an oxymoron).
Another way the left has taken over the language. Then of course we get accustomed to that term and they try to slip in “undocumented immigrant”. Again, to be an “immigrant” one must be documented! We the citizens all support immigration! It’s an American thing!