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My, my, this is inconvenient:
“When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” : Leviticus 19:33-34
When you see the most draconian laws in the country – one man being horribly cruel to his fellow man – it seems that you always see them passed by bible-belt states. There seems to be no doubt in my mind that the religion that the people of Alabama would call “Christianity” needs a new name – it can’t possibly be the same set of beliefs set forth by Jesus.
So, let’s go back to the beginning. Richard Fausset of the Los Angeles Times reported that, as a result of a new immigration law passed in Alabama, the estimated 130,000 illegal immigrants are disappearing from the classrooms and from the tomato fields. They are disappearing from the restaurants and the farms. Some of those disappearing are legal but a spouse is not, or the parents are not.
So, what all does the law do? It requires police to check the immigration status of suspects and turn illegal immigrants over to federal authorities. It requires school officials to demand birth certificates from students enrolling for the first time, though the schools may not turn students away. It forbids illegal immigrants to engage in business transactions with state government. Some cities have interpreted this as meaning that they can no longer sell water or electricity to immigrants even if they have a perfect payment record. This is creating a public health crisis.
The president of Alabama Associated General Contractors, said that the law would slow down the rebuilding effort underway in the wake of the devastating spring tornadoes. “We’re seeing smaller crews and seeing work taking longer to accomplish,” he said. The bill’s authors, he said, may have assumed that native Alabamians would take the jobs that Latinos left behind, with state unemployment at 10%. “That has not been the case so far,” he said.
State Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale and a key sponsor of the measure, was quoted as saying he felt the examples cited of terrified parents going to assistance agencies for help were designed to garner sympathy. “I would do whatever it took for my family to stay with me,” he told the AP. “It’s beyond my comprehension that you would just leave your children anywhere.”
If I could speak to Mr. Beason, I would suggest that he talk to a few holocaust survivors about that — or even watch the movie “Sophie’s Choice”. Or he could study the British during the dark days of 1940 when children by the boatload (literally) were being sent to Canada to escape the German bombing. Their parents had no guarantee that they would ever see their children again — and a lot didn’t. It may be a devastating experience but a good parent generally wants what is best for the child.
We could go a bit further. There are numerous photos of Vietnamese parents literally throwing their children on departing US helicopters at the end of the Vietnamese war in an effort to secure a better life for them. My doctor was one of those children. As an adult, and a medical doctor she did go back to Vietnam to try to find her parents. She never did.
From the Charlotte Sun: ONEONTA, Ala. — Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his Hispanic workers leave after Alabama’s tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans. It hasn’t worked out: They show up late, work slower than seasoned farm hands and are ready to call it a day after lunch or by mid-afternoon. Some quit after a single day.
In Alabama and other parts of the country, farmers must look beyond the nation’s borders for labor because many Americans simply don’t want the backbreaking, low-paying jobs immigrants are willing to take. Politicians who support the law say over time more unemployed Americans will fill these jobs. They insist it’s too early to consider the law a failure. No problem there. Once the farmers have gone bankrupt there will be no need for cheap farm labor.
“I’ve had people calling me wanting to work,” Smith said. “I haven’t turned any of them down, but they’re not any good. It’s hard work, they just don’t work like the Hispanics with experience.”
Alabama passed its law in June and it was immediately challenged by the Obama administration as it has been in other states. Unlike those states’ measures, Alabama’s law was left largely in place while challenges played out in court, frightening Hispanics and driving many of them away.
The agriculture industry suffered the most immediate impact. Farmers said they will have to downsize or let crops die on the vine. As the season’s harvest winds down, many are worried about next year.
For those who would point out that, when all was said and done, the immigrants are here illegally. Yes, indeed they are. However the fact remains that we have tolerated this for a very long time. In order to compete, businesses needed the cheap, unskilled labor, and farmers obviously needed it, as well. Presidents Bush and Obama have done an outstanding job of tightening our borders. Now, it would seem to me, we do need to do something to show the illegals that they have broken American laws, but the harshness that a lot of Americans are calling for reeks of bigotry and hatred. We need to make them legal as soon as possible so that we can start collecting taxes from them. After all, the rich won’t pay!
So who are the winners and losers. It would appear that we have some politicians who really don’t care about the future of Alabama (or of this country). They approach problems with an open mouth and a closed mind. They didn’t look into the repercussions of what they are doing — and probably didn’t care. Whatever will get them a vote in the next election is what they will do. They certainly have screwed the farmers of Alabama. It doesn’t appear that they have created jobs for Alabamans, but, it would appear that they have satisfied their intolerance and hatred — and not much else. The current winners are the politicians such as Alabama State Sen. Scott Beason. The Losers: pretty much everyone else.