Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alabama's Racist Immigration Law Backfires

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The good white people of Alabama were so proud of themselves earlier last year when they managed to pass an immigration law that was even meaner than the one adopted in Arizona.  HB 56 was intended to put all of those job-stealing Mexicans on notice - Alabama jobs would be held by Alabamans,  and all illegals would be found out, stripped of their basic human rights, jailed, and deported.  Police had to begin asking everyone they stopped to prove that they were in the country legally.  Show me your papers, please.

It was going to be a Godsend.  The unemployment rate would drop drastically, crime would evaporate, and all of the Mexicans would be somebody else's problem.  Best of all, God's chosen language, English, would go unchallenged as the basis for verbal communication in Alabama - though sometimes when the locals use that language, it is slobbered out in a manner that begs for a translator.

And if the goal was to get rid of the Hispanics, the law worked wonderfully.  That population, both legal and illegal, fled the state en masse.  Unemployment has dropped slightly, but probably only temporarily, and farmers are being very vocal about the fact that their crops are rotting in the fields because they can't find farm laborers.  So it will be awhile before the full economic impact of HB 56 is known, but initial reports are troubling.

Still, the folks in Alabama are very proud of the fact that they are just as mean-spirited as Arizonans.   Well, that is they were pumped up until the arrest of an illegal earlier this week in Tuscaloosa, and now they don't rightly know what to think.

Detlev Hager, a 46-year-old citizen of Germany, was pulled over by a Tuscaloosa policeman because his rental car did not have a license tag.  When the police officer asked the mandatory questions regarding proof of residency and citizenship, the poor man could only produce a German identification card.  The policeman did his duty according to HB 56 and proceeded to haul Mr. Hagar off to jail.

It turns out, however, that Mr. Hagar did have a reason and a right to be in this country - as did much of Alabama's former Hispanic population.  He is a manager for Mercedes-Benz and was in America visiting the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa.  He is a very important person whose company was lured to Alabama fifteen years ago with massive state tax breaks.  His arrest was such a big deal that the governor, when he learned of the incident, immediately called the State Director of Homeland Security to find out just what the hell was going on.

Now it seems that some residents are beginning to rethink HB 56.  They want to harass some immigrants, but definitely not business executives from Europe who happen to be significant players in the state's economy.  The law is apparently too colorblind and may need a bit of fine-tuning!

It will be interesting to see what their state legislature spits out next.

1 comment:

Don said...

The Alabama legislature, along with law-making bodies in Mississippi, Arizona, Florida and Texas can be counted on to spit out more of the venom that has characterized the changes wrought states recently claimed by the Republican party.

Small farms and businesses in Alabama were mutilated by the law. They found out the hard way that there truly are some jobs Americans won't do and it was that, as much as anything else, that convinced state legislators to consider finding different outlets for their inherent racism.

Sooner or later, the people always catch on, though, and one can only hope that the demise of such GOP disciples of intolerance as Scott Walker in Wisconsin (whose war against organized labor hopefully will awaken the 99 percent)will be hastened as a result.