Thread: Alabama’s Disgrace
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- 05-16-2012, 09:00 AM #1
Published: May 15, 2012
Alabamians should see on Wednesday, the last day of the legislative session, just how badly the Republicans who control the Statehouse want to continue down the path of anti-immigrant extremism.
The lawmakers’ challenge was to fix last year’s terrible immigration law, House Bill 56, which turned state and local police officers into papers-checking immigration agents and imposed a grab bag of criminal punishments and deterrents on undocumented immigrants and on businesses and charitable organizations that help or hire them. The only real solution is the full repeal of the law, but bills to do that have died.
Republican leaders have said they want to make the law more “efficient,” but have vowed not to weaken it. So the question as time runs out is whether the Legislature will approve any “tweaks” through a new measure, House Bill 658, that has already passed the House, or some other bill originating in the Senate.
It may be that only the courts can rescue Alabama from itself. Some parts of the current law are temporarily on hold awaiting the outcome of a federal lawsuit, including the requirement that schools collect students’ immigration data and sections criminalizing “business transactions” by the undocumented and nullifying contracts they enter. But other sections are still in force, including the one directing police to check the papers of those they stop.
House Bill 658 preserves the malign intent of the earlier law and makes some of its provisions worse. It expands the “papers, please” requirement to target passengers in a stopped car as well as the driver. It doubles, to 48 hours, the time someone can be jailed while awaiting an immigration check. It increases jail time and fines for newly created — and surely unconstitutional — state immigration crimes. It does nothing meaningful to shield from prosecution those who “harbor” or “transport” immigrants for religious or humanitarian reasons. As for the expense of litigation, the harm to public safety as crime victims avoid the police, and the misery inflicted on the working poor — all of those ill-effects seem quite intact.
The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of Arizona’s immigration law, whose noxious spirit and letter Alabama has copied. A ruling in that case is expected in June, and could unleash more Arizona-style damage in other states. Meanwhile, the two Republican architects of Alabama’s immigration law, Micky Hammon in the House and Scott Beason in the Senate, are pressing on. And The Associated Press reported this month that Alabama farmers are planting less and shifting to mechanized crops as the reality of an immigrant labor shortage — the high price of xenophobia — sinks in.
A version of this editorial appeared in print on May 16, 2012, on page A24 of the New York edition with the headline: Alabama’s Disgrace.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/op...egalimmigrantsThe price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato
- 05-16-2012, 09:03 AM #2And The Associated Press reported this month that Alabama farmers are planting less and shifting to mechanized crops as the reality of an immigrant labor shortage — the high price of xenophobia — sinks in.The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato
- 05-17-2012, 10:13 AM #3And The Associated Press reported this month that Alabama farmers are planting less and shifting to mechanized crops as the reality of an immigrant labor shortage — the high price of xenophobia — sinks in.
For an example, look at the automobile industry in the 1950', 60's and 70's. Japan realized the future was the use of robotics in manufacturing, which not only reduced cost per production item, but vastly improved production quality because human error was minimized. Meanwhile, the American Big 3 took a shellacking on the world markets as well as at home because they would not adapt to automated and semi-automated production methods. The companies did not want to make the capital investment, and the unions were scared witless that they would lose too many jobs. I have never seen the figures published, but I would bet that the amount of business lost to Japan during this period cost the companies far more than capital investment in automation would have, and the loss of sales and market-share cost the unions more jobs than automation would have.
Ag business is the same way. What would your bread cost today if wheat farmers plowed, planted and harvested grain today using the same techniques of 120 years ago? That is assuming there would be enough wheat grown to make bread for any but the elite. When John McCain says he would pay $50 an hour to anyone who would work 8 hours in the broiling sun picking vegetables I would ask why is anyone handpicking vegetables in the broiling sun if there is a way to use a machined to do it? Then I would tell McCain to pay his 50 bucks an hour towards buying that machine."We have met the enemy, and they is us." - POGO
- 05-17-2012, 10:52 AM #4
They are allowed to get away with the stereotyping because they write these articles without fear of forced retraction. As we know, any word that is overused becomes irrelevant.
The citizens of Alabama were promised by the Republicans ( see Handshake With Alabama) that if elected, things would change. The citizens elected them and expect them to keep their end of the bargain. The farmers that have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle, that includes the ability to pay for political favors, seem to put their financial interests ahead of everything else and are having a hard time with cheap foreign slave labor withdrawal.
It is interesting that all illegal immigration enforcement is considered an Hispanic problem by all of these immigrant rights groups and liberal newspapers. I don't see any Russian illegal immigrant groups or Korean illegal immigrant groups being given any special treatment and illegals coming from Korea are the second largest group of people coming here illegally. Then there are the Chinese.
Our own Government, namely Tom Perez and the Justice Department, only set up toll free hot lines for Spanish speaking illegals to make it affordable to them, at the expense of legal US residents to call them and complain and tell their tales of woe.
Here it is, they are doing what they promised the MAJORITY of the citizens of Alabama.
Republican Handshake with Alabama
Montgomery - ALGOP legislative leaders on Monday released details of the 2010 Republican Handshake with Alabama, an agenda of specific, issue-oriented bills they will make a priority of passing if given a majority in one or both chambers of the Legislature.
"In Alabama, a handshake means something," said State Republican Party Chairman and House Minority Leader Mike Hubbard (R - Auburn). "When you look someone in the eye, give them your word and shake their hand, you make a bond. This Handshake Agenda is our bond with the voters of Alabama, and if Republicans are successful in taking over the Legislature, these are the items we will immediately work to pass."
State Senator Jabo Waggoner (R - Vestavia), who serves as Senate Minority Leader, noted that Alabama Democrats announced an agenda they termed the Covenant for the Future during the 2006 election cycle and pledged to pass each of its items within the first 10 days of the quadrennium. Four years later, despite controlling every House and Senate Committee, both agenda-setting Rules committees and a having a majority in both houses, only three of the 16 items in the agenda have become law. Many of its contents were also supported by Republicans, which suggests the Democrats made promises during the 2006 campaign they had no intention of keeping.
"We are asking the citizens of Alabama to judge us not only by what we say, but also by what we, as Republicans, do if given a majority," Waggoner said. "Using that yardstick, Democrats should be tossed out of the Legislature for running collectively on an agenda four years ago and then making no serious efforts to actually pass it. They broke their 'covenant' and should be forced to pay the price."
Among the goals and specific agenda items included in the Republican Handshake are:
Creating Jobs and Economic Opportunities - Alabama Republicans understand that creating jobs and putting our state on the right economic track is our top priority, and we are prepared to implement proven, conservative incentives and pro-business reforms to accomplish that goal.
We will work with the administration to build upon and expand the job-creation tax incentives that our gubernatorial nominee, Dr. Robert Bentley, successfully passed during the last legislative session. Those incentives will be targeted to both new and existing businesses alike.
In order to provide more capital needed to add new jobs Republicans will also push to expand the small business health insurance tax credit from 150% to 200% of the amount that both employers and employees pay for coverage premiums.
Similarly, the Bentley plan to create a cabinet-level Office of Small Business Creation and Development has been embraced by Republican legislative candidates who will work to dedicate the resources needed for its success. The office will be tasked with reducing regulations and red tape, unifying small-business orientated state programs under one roof and advocating on behalf of both new and existing small businesses.
We will fight to ensure that Alabama remains a right-to-work state in order to keep employment costs low and demand legislation that protects the right to a secret ballot in union elections so that no worker may be harassed or intimidated for voting his or her heart and conscience.
A Republican Legislature will work to put roadblocks in the way of the job-killing "Cap and Tax" legislation being pushed by liberal Congressional Democrats. If passed, such legislation will cause energy costs in Alabama to skyrocket and crash our economy. Businesses from our largest industrial employers to our smallest mom-and-pop operations rely upon affordable energy costs to keep doors open and workers employed in Alabama.
Controlling Wasteful Spending - Many of our national economic problems have been caused by a Democrat Congress and liberal president who are spending like drunken sailors. Alabama Republicans want to prevent that from happening on the state level. Our Legislature has traditionally budgeted based on political convenience and unsustainable revenue estimates. When those estimates prove too conservative for the Democrats' tastes, they simply increase them to accommodate additional spending. The result is devastating proration.
Alabama Republicans believe that the Legislature, like families and individuals across the state, should live within its means, and we propose passage of the Responsible Budgeting and Spending Act. Under this bill, state revenue estimates would be based upon a 15- year rolling average rather than unsupported projections, which will rein in spending and allow the budgets to more easily absorb changes in a cyclical economy.
Ending Corruption in Montgomery - Democrats have held the majority in Montgomery for 136 years, and during that time, they created an atmosphere that breeds corruption and encourages graft. The recent criminal convictions of numerous Democrat legislators and other Democrat officials provide ample evidence of that fact.
Republicans understand that we must limit the influence of special interests and other lobbyists who control much of what happens in Montgomery. Under existing law, lobbyists are allowed to spend up to $250 a day on each public official without having to file an ethics report. A Republican majority will introduce legislation to require all spending by lobbyists is reported - even down to a cup of coffee.
Alabama is one of only three states that do not provide subpoena power to its ethics watchdog agency, which makes it easy for public officials and others to hamstring investigations. Republicans not only support subpoena power for the Alabama Ethics Commission, they want to provide the agency with a statutorily defined level of appropriation that can be cut only by a two-thirds vote of both houses. That way, no legislator can retaliate against the agency and its work by cutting its annual budget.
Too many legislators and other public officials have been caught double-dipping or holding questionable contracts with government agencies and those wishing to do business with the state. Republicans will work to ban double-dipping and require public officials and their spouses to disclose any contracts they hold with government entities.
Combating Illegal Immigration - Because illegal immigration threatens our homeland security, reduces the quality of life for taxpaying citizens and places our schools, hospitals and other resources under tremendous burden, Alabama Republicans believe we must take immediate action. Politicians in Washington refuse to act, so we must bring the fight to the home front.
A Republican legislative majority will push an illegal immigration bill similar to the recently approved Arizona law. The Alabama bill will create a new state criminal trespass statute that allows local law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants for simply setting foot in Alabama. Another provision will make it a crime to provide an illegal immigrant transportation anywhere in Alabama, whether it is a trip across the state or simply to the corner store.
Proof of citizenship or legal residency in order to access government services will also be required, and, because illegal immigrants and their allies are working to gather political power and influence, any illegal immigrant who registers to vote, or attempts to, or casts a ballot will be convicted of a Class C felony as will anyone aiding in those efforts.
Blocking the Washington, D.C. Power Grab - Many rights and freedoms previously reserved to the states and to individuals are under an unprecedented attack from D.C. liberals, and Alabama Republicans are prepared to take strong actions to repel their assault. It is important that the voices of the frustrated majority of Alabamians be heard, especially in the area of socialized health care programs recently implemented against our wishes by Obama and his allies.
An Alabama House and Senate controlled by Republicans will immediately introduce and work to pass a constitutional amendment that would "prohibit any person, employer or health care provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system." This amendment would be similar to measures introduced or passed in at least 30 other state legislatures across the country, and it is believed that such state amendments will assist in court cases questioning federal authority to force citizens to purchase something they do not wish to purchase, a mandate never previously forced on the populace.
Republican Handshake with Alabama
Republican Handshake with Alabama