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AFRW’s Political Education Project on Illegal Immigration
Illegal immigration has been a primary political education project for AFRW for the past seven years. This has consisted of extensive research; white papers and issue brochures; email summaries of bills and updates; press releases; speeches across the state by the AFRW President at local clubs, tea parties, GOP executive committees, and non-partisan groups; radio interviews; and lobbying legislators. Getting a strict immigration bill has remained a priority of Republican Women because it takes jobs from Alabama citizens and impacts almost every budget category that has a shortfall. Alabama taxpayers pay an estimated $500 million every year in public benefits to families of illegal aliens. When you compare this annual expense to the $400 million budget shortfall in the General Fund, its significance is quickly realized. In essence, taxpayers are subsidizing unlawful employers who hire illegal aliens to get cheap labor and to undercut lawful businesses. AFRW is extremely proud of Republican legislators who had the political courage in their first legislative session in 2011, after taking back the Legislature following 136 years of Democratic rule, to fulfill their promise to voters to crack down on illegal immigration — something that Democrats promised election year after election yet, once back in office, never followed through. Republicans gave Alabama citizens HB56, the strictest immigration law in the nation. It is supported by 80% of voters. Then something happened. HB56 became the battle of the 2012 legislative session. This is explained in the summary below, in email communications to members and legislators, and press releases. This political education project page also includes bill numbers and votes by legislators.
ALABAMA’S IMMIGRATION LAW IS WORKING TO RAPIDLY REDUCE ALABAMA’S UNEMPLOYMENT
Alabama Unemployment Rate vs U.S Unemployment Rate since enforcement against illegal immigration … http://bit.ly/abPPrY
Sept.2011 9.8% .vs 9.0%;
Oct.2011 9.3% .vs 8.9%;
Nov.2011 8.7% .vs 8.7%;
Dec.2011 8.1% .vs 8.5%;
Jan.2012 avail 03/13/2012 .vs 8.3%;
Feb.2012 avail 03/30/2012 .vs 8.3%
BATTLE OF THE 2012 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
By Elois Zeanah, AFRW President
ALABAMA’S LAW IS WORKING! Illegal aliens are self-deporting! Unemployment is down! Tax dollars paid in public benefits to illegal aliens are down!
WHY, THEN, WOULD ALABAMA’S ATTORNEY GENERAL AND LEGISLATORS WANT TO WEAKEN THE LAW?
Voters are being forced to re-fight a battle that we won just last year. The battle to keep HB56 intact has been described as a fight between social conservatives and certain business interests who want to force taxpayers to subsidize their cheap illegal labor. Here’s why:
* Attorney General Luther Strange has recommended the Legislature repeal major sections of HB56 that encourage illegal aliens to leave our state while the judicial process is still underway. He seems to have a strange desire to surrender in areas even where the state is winning.
* Senator Gerald Dial has taken the AG’s torch and run with it. He submitted SB140 that repeals most sections recommended by the AG. Repeals include provisions that:
(1) Allow citizens to sue officials who refuse to enforce the law so Alabama won’t become a sanctuary state, (2) Make it a crime to knowingly rent to illegal aliens, (3) Make it a crime to encourage or induce illegal aliens to move to Alabama, (4) Require schools to count the number of children of illegal aliens to help budget their expense, and (5) Mandate that applicants must show proof of citizenship to register to vote.
* Senator Paul Sanford has sponsored a bill to repeal another section recommended by the AG – that applicants do not have to show any ID to renew licenses of any type, such as tags, driver’s or business licenses. This means that illegal aliens in Alabama who have licenses won’t be caught. Sanford has also submitted a bill that would not require employers to use E-Verify, which he voted against the first time.
* The Republican leadership says more bills will be forthcoming but shared no details.
Republicans say they will defend and not weaken our immigration law, HB56. Given the above examples to change/weaken our law, this leaves voters to ask if “defending the law” is a “talking point”. If Republicans are sincere that they will NOT weaken our law that’s wildly successful, why are they in such a rush to change this bill before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on Arizona’s bill in just three months?
Our current law HB56 contains some of the same provisions as the Arizona law. If the U.S. Supreme forces changes in the Arizona law, that should be the basis for changes in the Alabama law. Otherwise, Legislators will have to change our law again in just three months. Why waste valuable resources before they know how the Supreme Court will rule?
INDUSTRY RECRUITMENT CONTINUES TO RISE. Foreign investors have confirmed that the immigration law has NO IMPACT on choosing Alabama as a place to locate.
UNEMPLOYMENT IS DOWN. Alabama’s unemployment rate improved from being the 42nd worst in the nation to being 28th since the law has been in effect. There has been a drop of 3% in unemployment in Marshall County.
If your legislator is standing strong on HB 56 and has agreed to make NO CHANGES until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules, give him/her a pat on the back. If he/she has gone wobbly, let them know how you feel. 80% of Alabama voters support this law.
Please contact your Legislators and ask them to make NO changes to Alabama’s law until the U.S. Supreme Court rules! Otherwise, they will (1) waste valuable resources if they have to change it again, and (2) risk HB56 being drastically weakened.
Phone: Senate — 334/242-7800; House — 334/242-7600
BILLS/VOTES THAT WEAKEN ALABAMA’S IMMIGRATION LAW, HB56
Introduction: Republican Legislators tell us that they only want to “tweak” our immigration law and they will not weaken it. We believe them. But when we see bills like the following come forward, we realize we must “trust but verify”. If Republican Legislators are sincere in that they don’t want to weaken our current law, then apparently they don’t realize what changes weaken the law.
Following are two cases that make that point. This is why voters must continue to lobby legislators to ensure they hold true to their promises to not weaken our most popular and effective immigration law.
SB260 by Senator Paul Sanford
This bill repeals the requirement that ALL employers use E-Verify. HB56 is already weak on enforcement regarding E-Verify, but at least we have the provision in the law and could strengthen the bill if there’s legislative will.
This bill also repeals the requirement that applicants must show proof of citizenship (which is simply a driver’s license or other ID). This means that illegals who already have tags, fake driver’s licenses and business licenses would not be caught when renewing these documents and would be given sanctuary.
Senator Sanford has submitted other bills which include similar/same language to get rid of the provision which makes E-Verify mandatory — such as SB57 and SB75. — SB260 cleared the Job Creation and Economic Development Committee and is to be scheduled for a Senate floor vote. ONLY TWO REPUBLICANS voted NO. These were Senators Clay Scofield and Phil Williams. Scott Beason was ABSENT. Senators voting YES were: Slade Blackwell, Greg Reed and Paul Sanford.
SB140 by Senator Gerald Dial
This bill repeals the provision that allows citizens to sue government officials who refuse to enforce HB56. (The purpose of this provision is to ensure that Alabama does not become a sanctuary state.)
This bill repeals the provision that it is a crime to knowingly rent to illegal aliens.
This bill repeals the provision that makes it a crime to encourage/induce illegal aliens to move to Alabama.
This bill repeals the provision that requires schools to count the number of children of illegal aliens who attend school to help budget their expense.
This bill repeals the requirement that proof of citizenship must be shown to register to vote.
In essence, this bill removes practically every incentive that encourages illegal aliens to leave our state.
This bill has been sent to the Judiciary Committee. Republican members are: Ben Brooks, Cam Ward, Arthur Orr, Bryan Taylor, Tom Whatley, Phil Williams, and Dick Brewbaker.
SB260 WEAKENS ALABAMA by Elois Zeanah
Sen. Holzclaw’s Economic Analysis of HB 56
U.S. Supreme Court Look at Arizona Law Will Affect Alabama’s