Alabama Immigration Law Drives Away Students and Farm and Construction Workers

Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Over the past decade Hispanics flocked to Alabama and helped fulfill the labor needs of the agricultural and construction sectors. But the magnetism of opportunity that drew many legal and illegal immigrants to the state has suddenly reversed, resulting in thousands fleeing in the wake of a tough new anti-immigrant law that’s been validated by a federal court.
During the summer, the legislature adopted what supporters called the strongest immigration law in the United States, giving law enforcement the power to ask for immigration papers during routine traffic stops. The U.S. Department of Justice and several civil rights groups went to court to stop the law from going into effect, but the first legal challenge resulted in federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn upholding most of the provisions.
The impact of Blackburn’s ruling was literally felt overnight. Once news got out about the decision, Hispanic families began pulling their children out of school, packing up their belongings and leaving the state immediately. By the end of the week, nearly 2,000 Hispanic children had disappeared from the state’s public schools.
The effects of the law also have been felt on Alabama farms and on construction projects. Contractors have lost a reliable source of cheap labor, as have farmers who say their crops are rotting in the fields because there’s no one willing to do the picking. Not only are illegal immigrants leaving the state, but also documented workers of families that have members who risk deportation if they remain in Alabama.
On Friday, a fourth grade public school teacher in Montgomery asked a student whether she and her parents were legal residents. On Monday, the incident was cited in a lawsuit challenging the law filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The child’s mother is an undocumented immigrant, but the fourth-grader, born in the United States, is a citizen.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
After Ruling, Hispanics Flee an Alabama Town (by Campbell Robertson, New York Times)
Ala. Hispanic Students Vanish (by Jay Reeves, Associated Press)
Alabama Life Already Changing Under Tough Immigration Law (by Patrik Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor)
MPS Parent Says Child Asked for Immigration Status (by Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser)


toni 12 years ago
say what ever you want to say ....but mexico is the biggest culprit when it comes to illegal immigration and thats a fact.
both of you that disagree with momtaxpayercitizen can stow it! i for one am sick of all these damn illegals here, and applaud what arizona, georgia, and alabama are doing. i know for a fact that i can say with confidence that many if not most americans agree with me. take, take, take, that's all these people do. i have just recently came to visit my hometown of chicago after being away for many years, and those damn illegal good for nothings have ruined this city!! destroyed many neighborhoods, overburdened the state, draining our resources. why the hell do they get anything from us?? no english comprehension or desire to learn at all. are they too stupid? well, i say get the hell out!! i love, love, love that states are finally taking a stand, and i imagine many more will follow. it was wonderful to read about all the illegals on the run, and leaving these great states of ours. go ruin your own damn country, oh wait! you already did!!! i honestly can't wait until the other states put laws into effect as well. pretty soon they will have nowhere to go but back to mexico. goodbye!!!!! and good riddance!!
reyarm 12 years ago
most of those immigrants/illegals are not from mexico, they cross over mexico to get here in the usa, most of these "people/human being" come from south america, so get your facts before blaming mexico, the us citizens you know must too lazy to work hard," these immigrants are getting jobs no one else here wants, they know how to get up and go looking for jobs, as to funneling monies try looking at all your big companies that have packed-up and open shop in mexico and other countries,because of big tax breaks they been getting, and they know people in other counties are still willing to get up and work, welfare is only for usa citizens, illegals can't get it "the only way they can, it's has to be an emergancy" call any office and tell them your here illegal and see how much help they'll get you "i can tell you none" mexico is a beautiful place to live at, right now the big problem they're having is because all of usa hungary drug addicts, because of them it's causing a lot of killing going on in mexico, many people are dying so that usa citizens drug-addicts can have there everyday happy-pills and not work. your term for "illegal competition is just another way of saying people here are to lazy to get up and get out find a j o b.
reyarm 12 years ago
momtaxpayercitizen: you stated illegal aliens is what's going to bankrupt our government, better look again to see which ceo/banks/companies has taken usa tax money, then ask yourself when was the last time an illegal alien forclose on anyones house/home or taken u.s. citizens life saving retirment,you also stated that employers have benefited from cheap illegal labor at the expense of law-abiding u.s. taxpayers, if you want to see some laughter look to alabama and wait until our us citizens go out and start farming the fields or some of those construction jobs, these people/immigrant are here following that dream that is portray by usa to the rest of the world as being a good welcoming country, as for the "handouts" "health clinics" we have them because many of the super rich that get usa tax breaks have not done anything to comply with getting "bush" so-call tax break to help with empolyment, we're more like third-world with big gap between rich and poor, so wake up and stop blaming people who are here wanting to work, as for not having insurance it's not by choice, and yes i'm a usa tax payer who see what really going on.
MomTaxpayerCitizen 12 years ago
income taxes and consumption taxes are not the same thing. you can get an education in your native country, also, and don't have to overcrowd our school systems. you are bankrupting our governments through your welfare demands and enriching your own country through billions of u.s. dollars obtained illegally here every year. if it's so bad in mexico, why do you funnel money there to build your houses? there are problems in whatever country you were born in, you have to make the best of what you have, and stop driving law-abiding u.s. citizens into poverty through unfair, illegal competition. i know many citizens who were unable to compete with foreigners who don't have the expense of providing food, shelter and medical care for their own families, but leave that to u.s. taxpayers.
boobs 12 years ago
i hate the immagation law
HumanisHuman 12 years ago
illegal aliens do pay taxes, or do you think that when they go buy gas the sales clerk goes "oh, you're an illegal, here let me reduce the price so it doesn't include tax" illegal immigrants have to use government sponsored services like health clinics because they get paid close to nothing for hard labor. if you're going to be against illegal immigration, i hope you are honest about the fact that you don't care that a family has fled their home so their kids wouldn't be killed in a drug war. that you don't care that they are willing to put up with being called a criminal just so their kids can have a chance at receiving a basic education. that when you say "go home" you are actually saying "go get killed" because that is the reality in places like colombia and mexico. i also hope that you are just as cruel and heartless when you see one of your white, american-bred, us-citizen neighbors smoking up, since that is one of the main reasons people are forced out of their home country.
MomTaxpayerCitizen 12 years ago
these employers have benefited from cheap, illegal labor at the expense of law-abiding u.s. taxpayers long enough. if these farmers and construction companies had not broken the law and hired foreigners here illegally in the first place, the labor/demand/price issue would have been worked out long ago. i will gladly pay more for fruits and vegetables picked by u.s. taxpayers so that our governments can avoid being bankrupt by foreigners who have no respect for our laws and are here to exploit us by evading taxes by working for cash, using our emergency rooms as free health clinics, having twice as many kids as citizens and lining up for all the government handouts they can get and driving without insurance.
Cletus 12 years ago
please call them what they are. they're "illegal aliens" not "undocumented immigrants". unless, of course, you're going to start referring to drug dealers as "unlicensed pharmacists".

Leave a comment