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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    AL - Civil rights hearing on anti-illegal immigration law lists more than a dozen spe

    Civil rights hearing on anti-illegal immigration law lists more than a dozen speakers

    By Dana Beyerle
    Times Montgomery Bureau
    Published: Friday, July 20, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
    Last Modified: Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 12:27 a.m.

    MONTGOMERY — Alabama legislators, law enforcement officers, immigration defense groups and the originator of Alabama’s anti-illegal immigration law are scheduled to speak at a civil rights hearing next month.

    The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on Friday released a list of speakers for the Aug. 17 field briefing in Birmingham on state anti-illegal immigration laws.

    Scheduled speakers include state Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, an opponent of Alabama’s immigration law; state Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, a co-author of the law; a state trooper and city councilman from Albertville; and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

    Kobach was instrumental in writing Alabama’s and other states’ anti-illegal immigration laws.

    University of Alabama history professor David Beito was invited to speak. He said he is pro immigration but is concerned with the potential impact immigration may have on welfare costs, although not all immigrants are on welfare.

    “The state should have a lot of leeway in the immigration debate,” he said, but he said he fears state actions on immigration have the potential to lead to racial profiling.

    “Why not look for a solution short of letting everybody in, like a guest worker program?” Beito said.

    Beito is chairman of the civil rights commission Alabama State Advisory Committee.

    Alabama, Arizona, South Carolina and Georgia adopted state immigration laws that speakers will be asked to comment on. They will be asked whether the laws increase racial discrimination, profiling, hate crimes and bullying.

    The Supreme Court overturned three sections of Arizona’s law but said law enforcement officers can ask for immigration proof during routine stops and citizen encounters.

    The Alabama Legislature passed House Bill 56 by Beason and Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, in 2011. Part of it was voided in federal court, so the Legislature this year made changes that supporters hope will meet further federal muster.

    The law’s backers claimed the federal government isn’t enforcing its own immigration laws, leaving it to the states.

    England voted against the Alabama law.

    “I plan on speaking about the potential for abuse about a law that is predicated on the perpetrators’ ethnicity in enforcement,” England said Friday.

    Whether Alabama’s law is upheld, England said one result is it will perpetuate the image of Alabama’s past.

    “You’ll have lawsuits and you’ll (keep the) perception for the rest of the world and remind people of the legacy of racism in Alabama,” he said.

    Albertville City Councilman Chuck Ellis, who is a state trooper, said the law specifically prohibits law enforcement officers from profiling individuals.

    “The intent of the law is to follow rules,” he said. “When dealing with people, law enforcement realizes that … whether to arrest or not arrest, actually two people can be a target, the person investigated and the police officer who can be accused of violating someone’s civil rights. Police officers don’t want to go to jail.”

    Kobach, with whom Ellis said is good friends, worked with Beason and Hammon on the two immigration bills.

    “I think one aspect of the Alabama law I’ll be talking about is the immense success in reducing unemployment in Alabama,” Kobach said.

    Proponents said the state’s tough anti-illegal immigration law has resulted in self-deportation by those who fear the law will catch them.

    “It’s clearly encouraging illegal aliens to self-deport, and that opens jobs to U.S. citizens,” Kobach said.

    The commission said the field briefing will help determine whether the laws will diminish federal education rights for students or reduce public safety and effective community policing.

    The field briefing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 17 at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, 2101 Richard Arrington Junior Ave. N. It’s a public event.

    One Old Vet

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  2. #2
    Senior Member nomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    NC and Canada. Got a foot in both worlds
    I'm not up on the Constitution but I still say:

    If you are NOT a citizen of the US, by birth or Naturalization, YOU HAVE NO CIVIL RIGHTS!

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