An Alternative to Alabama’s Direction on Immigration

 

Despite the fact that the Obama administration deports one person every 79 seconds, the past twelve months has seen an even stronger push across US states against immigration.

This has led to Alabama’s immigration law, which surpasses all other state laws in its harshness and stringency. The law means that residents now have to prove their citizenship to secure their water supply. Others are drawing up documents to make sure that their children are looked after should they be deported.

In 2010, one in four children in the U.S. was part of an immigrant family — the majority Latino. In Alabama 5% of the Latino school population is staying away.

The Department of Justice asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stop enforcement of Alabama’s HB 56 because of racial discrimination concerns. Others have filed an appeal citing the law’s immediate aftermath.

The immigration laws passed in Alabama, Georgia, Arizona and South Carolina, don’t just effect immigrants, they also lead to lost productivity and revenues — such as crops rotting in the fields.

But some states aren’t cracking down and instead are coming up with what advocates say are more rational, productive and humane solutions to a broken immigration system.

Rhode Island’s Board of Governors for Higher Education, encouraged by Gov. Lincoln Chafee, has approved a state version of the DREAM Act which allows undocumented students to pay in-state college tuition. Students without papers must sign an affidavit promising that they will pursue U.S. citizenship as soon as possible.

Last weekend, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the second half of his state’s DREAM Act. The first half, enacted in July, sanctioned private scholarships and loans for undocumented college students. These students, with the passage of the second bill, can now pay in-state tuition rates and apply for state aid.

Other states have versions of the DREAM Act, but because it can’t be passed at the federal level, the state acts don’t include a ‘path to citizenship.’ What they do allow is for kids who have already received a public education to obtain a college degree, earn better wages, pay taxes, contribute to the economy and give back to society.

Last week New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order requiring state agencies to make vital forms and instructions available in the six most common non-English languages spoken in the state. 13 percent of New Yorkers do not speak English as their primary language. Cuomo argued that access to state services can be a matter of life and death for some immigrants.

Also last week the ‘rust belt’ city of Dayton, Ohio voted to turn their city into an “immigrant friendly” destination with the explicit goal of replenishing the city’s population. A “Welcome Dayton” program is about encouraging new businesses and spurring investment in immigrant neighborhoods. It involves ESL and literacy courses, actively involving local youth in community building and encouraging cross-cultural events.

Advocates argue that rather than marginalizing immigrants and treating them as scapegoats these governments are finding ways to integrate them because they see immigrants as vital and economically integral — crucial to the nation’s future.

 

Related Stories:

Who Needs Immigrant Labor When You Have Prison Inmates?

Breaking: Governor Brown Signs California DREAM Act, Part 2

Latino Families Fleeing Alabama in Droves

 

Picture by Todd Dwyer

50 comments

LMj Sunshine
James merritt jr6 years ago

Thank you.

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LMj Sunshine
James merritt jr6 years ago

Thank you.

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Patrick F.
Patrick f7 years ago

Here's an alternative...quit using scapegoats and fix the economy, until you do that you will be chasing shadows.

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Patrick F.
Patrick f7 years ago

It will be amusing to watch the news in a year or so, the U.S. will be appealing to Mexico to send some cheap labor to America because they have nobody to pick crops or clean their house for dirt wages...

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Robby C.
Past Member 7 years ago

Jim G- Thank you for watching that- it is interesting & rather scary. "I believe that once they get here, they probably just don't want to go back. I understand their rationale" And I completely agree w/your & I can't say I blame them either.

Paul C- I'm sorry- I don't believe that (It's like saying that unemployment is under 10%). I know people who live in some of these states & what I'm hearing is the opposite. And there is definitely more violence from illegals there than ever before & they see no attempt to deport. Well, maybe hard working, honest, non-violent ones...!

Bruce H- "Why are they catching the heat when the feds are busy giving guns to the drug lords and criminals?"

That's EXACTLY why! To cover up scandals like Operation Fast & Furious (of which you speak). Diversion 101...

Thom L- Yes, our available space is better, but some areas are still way overcrowded. As for sustaining poulation, though, space isn't as much a problem as resources. But that is a reason for wy so many want to come here.

You're an interesting man. I appreciate the sincere & polite debate- getting rare around here on some of these topics lately... I'd be honored to have a beer w/you- but can they chill mine at least a little bit? LOL!

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Bruce H.
Bruce H7 years ago

Why are people saying we hate immigrants? We don't. We are all immigrants who came here LEGALLY. It's the people who are ILLEGALLY here we are against.

Most of these state laws are only stating they will enforce the federal laws already on the books. Nothing new. Why are they catching the heat when the feds are busy giving guns to the drug lords and criminals?

Can someone explain how violating the law should bring some special benefit to the perpetrator?

Enforce the laws, or they get no respect. Change the laws to something else. By doing neither, you are just encouraging anarchy.

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Ernest R.
Ernest R7 years ago

Thom L and Robby C You are both partly right. Sorry, America DOES try to literally enslave. “we try to be fair ?” maybe on a personal basis but certainly not nationally. No country has a spotless record but no other country has managed the level of destruction the US has accomplished since WW2. and the US has certainly caused more poverty than it has alleviated. Since it was ‘formed tom be free from oppression” it is one of the last countries to limit slavery, it has stolen land from the native peoples, from Mexico [Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado], from Spain [Cuba and the Philippines] and supported dictators worldwide [Marcos, Mubarak, Saddam Husain ] and ignored democratic elections to install brutal new ones [Chile, Vietnam, Guatemala, Indonesia, Guatemala, Iran, Honduras]. Hey, as Hitler used to say, nobody’s perfect. But Robby,you are right. illegals ARE draining the country.

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Patrick F.
Patrick f7 years ago

Hahahaha

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Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin7 years ago

People in Alabama are worried that their sister @#$!ing gene pool might become corrupted with improvements.

That's really why they hate immigrants so much. ;)

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Patrick F.
Patrick f7 years ago

Mike C. Do me a favour, type your responses BEFORE you get wasted,you make no sense. canidan? There are great Canadians, I agree, and I know I am not a great Canadian (canidan), I am however able and willing to compromise and respect others. That's the difference between you and I, I KNOW that it's not all about me....

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