The moral and economic catastrophe that Arizona inflicted on itself with SB 1070 was bad enough. The state is still reeling from the hollowing out of its economy brought about by the law, which initiated an official policy of harassment of anyone even suspected of being an immigrant.
Now politicians in Alabama have looked at the lesson of Arizona. And they’re trying to top it.
A new Alabama law—just inexplicably upheld by a federal judge—establishes an entirely new level of official government abuse of undocumented immigrants in the state.
It’s now a state crime for an undocumented immigrant to not carry documents required by federal law.
It requires police to make a reasonable attempt to determine immigration status for anyone they stop, detain, or arrest when they “reasonably suspect” the individual is illegally in the country.
It’s now a felony for an undocumented immigrant to do business with the state of Alabama, which includes, for instance, obtaining some vital needs like home water service.
When anti-immigrant politicians in Arizona set to work putting SB 1070 in place, they weren’t just making bad policy. They were setting a bad example. And despite the clear failure of the Arizona experiment, Alabama is following Arizona’s lead in sabotaging its own economy.
It’s up to all of us to speak out against this horrific Alabama law—and this horrific trend.
Please sign this petition to stop and someday reverse this wave of sanctioned harassment that’s beginning to grip state governments.
Image courtesy of Nevele Otseog via Flickr.