Sunday, March 11, 2012
Alabama, “illegals”, and hate: We must take back the narrative
The state of Alabama has outdone Arizona with an anti-immigrant law that is even more anti-human in its degrading approach to and impact on people who are immigrants, visitors, and native Americans with Spanish surnames or who “look” Hispanic. H.B. 56, documents Allen Perkins, MD, Chair of Family Medicine at the University of South Alabama in Mobile in his blog, Training Family Doctors, “…requires schools to check and report the immigration status of their students. It instructs police to demand proof of immigration status from anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally (if stopped for another reason), even on a routine traffic stop or roadblock. It also invalidates any contract knowingly entered into with an illegal alien, including routine agreements such as a rent contract, and makes it a felony for an unauthorized immigrant to enter into a contract with a government entity.”
He also notes that “…there were some really hateful provisions written in but enjoined as non-enforceable at this time (but liable to be enforced in the future): ‘It is a crime to harbor or transport unauthorized immigrants; unauthorized immigrants cannot enroll in or attend public universities; it is a crime for unauthorized immigrants to apply for, solicit, or perform work; it requires that schools check and report on the legal status of their students and their students’ parents; and lastly, it is a crime to be without status in the United States.’” In a later blog entry, he describes specific incidents of harassment by regular people (e.g., store clerks) of – regular people, even American-born, because of their ethnicity. In other words, H.B. 56 has given folks in Alabama a license to be racist, which many in the state feel is particularly shameful given its history of slavery, Jim Crow, and opposition to civil rights.