November 7th, 2011
Alabama’s Tough Immigration Law, 36 Days Later

Thirty-six days after the implementation of Alabama’s HB 56, immigrants have fled jobs in record numbers, Latino children are still absent from school and crops of Alabama’s $5.5 billion-agricultural industry are rotting in the fields.

Thousands of immigrants have left their jobs, which has left many small businesses understaffed and construction projects unfinished, including rebuilding from the devastating tornadoes earlier this year. The nearly 200,000 Latinos left in the state face the risk of being racially profiled every time they leave their homes, since police are allowed to racially profile anyone they think might be undocumented. Alabama’s law also makes all contracts with undocumented immigrants invalid, and a crime for them to apply for a driver’s license or a job.

The statistics reported by Voto Latino tell the story:

80% – Percent increase in Latino children absent to school on Monday, October 31 compared to last year’s average.

25% – Percent of construction workers in Alabama thought to have left the state since HB 56 went into effect, seven months after tornadoes devastated many Alabama towns.

3,000+ – Number of calls an Alabama civil rights group has received over to their emergency hotline since HB56 was enacted.

10% – Success rate of busing unemployed workers to farm fields to replace workers who left.

860% – Amount by which undocumented immigrants were more productive in the tomato fields than their replacements.

$5.5 Billion – Size of Alabama’s agricultural industry.

$130 Million – Amount in taxes undocumented immigrants paid in Alabama in 2010.

The U.S. Justice Department has demanded that Alabama schools begin to gather data on attendance and withdrawals since the law was implemented in order to better measure the effects of the law. The response from the Alabama attorney general has been to question the authority of the federal government to ask for such data.

According to immigration and human rights experts, Alabama’s immigration law is the most stringent and extreme in the developed world.


5 thoughts on “Alabama’s Tough Immigration Law, 36 Days Later

  1. These people should know better than going to a place that does not have a great track record when it comes to Native Americans and Blacks, what did they expect to be received with open arms? Second people have to follow rules and they just can’t show up and expect to be not held accountable, even the Obama Administration has deported many. It’s like driving, you need a license, it’s a priviledge not a right so if Alabama decides on a legal structure part of it is driven by the undocumented’s behavior to act as if they are entitled when they are admitted only as guest and that they are not right now.

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  3. I think these are fabricated numbers to continue to suppress wages and keep benefits out of the pay scale. And how are undocumented workers (Illegals) paying taxes unless they are working under someone else’s social security? It’s not possible. so somebody is lying. As well as work people don’t want? that too is a fabrication if they say that and continue to lower wages but not be willing to pay people the value of the work then who would want to work. The Illegals are the ignorant ones because if they believe they are so valuable then they would not work for such low wages, and demand that wages, insurance, and living conditions be better. And if they come here to make a better future and life for their family because where they are from is not good, that’s is a YP not an MP (Your problem, not My problem) to come here and try to make an economical and political point but not do it in their own country shows the intellect and level of intelligence they do not possess. If things are that bad at home why not change it at home? If you love your home so much make it better. If your house is falling apart would you let it or would you fix it up? 

    Point made.

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