What is Happening in Alabama?

This video is shocking. It makes me wonder, “Have the people of Alabama learned anything from the civil rights movement?

Here’s the full content of the law.

Listen carefully to the statement. They have taken the Arizona law and added to it more stringent requirements. Essentially, you have to provide a state issued ID proving your immigration status for any and all business transactions in the state of Alabama. Further, they put strict penalties on businesses which sell things to, rent to, or even provide transportation for, people who do not have legal status in the country.

Let’s get practical. Do you think that the grocery store is going to ID a white woman and her children at the checkout counter? Do you think a landlord is really going to look up the immigration status of a black family? Do you really think that a bus driver will ask for ID from a retired white male? Or the car dealer down the block, will he e-verify the identity of Mr. Johnson whom he has sold cars to in the past?

The law would also penalize people who knowingly harbor or give transport to illegal immigrants, a provision that many religious officials say would criminalize churches that heed what they believe is the Biblical obligation to feed, clothe and shelter the needy.

Read the rest here

Please tell me I’m misunderstanding what this law is about? It seems to me that this is segregation all over again.

And how is this constitutional? 






17 responses to “What is Happening in Alabama?”

  1. Sean Scott Avatar

    Funny how the Conservatives are supposed to be the more Christian side of the aisle, but often act in the most un-Christian ways. I don’t see much love, charity, peace, tolerance, kindness, goodness, and self control in these immigration laws. I see more greed and hate. I used to identify myself as a conservative, but the more I’ve learned the Bible in the past couple of years the more I see that Jesus was a pretty liberal person by our modern political standards. I never fought in a war to get my freedom, I simply was blessed to born on a certain side of an imaginary line on a map and thus get to be a fat American. What if I’d been born on the other side of the line? What if I’d been born in Somalia? Or Haiti?

  2. Paul Avatar

    This is sad. As an Alabama native and resident, it makes me want to move. The only plus side I can see in it is a reduction in employers exploit the migrant worker population (some minorities, especially hispanics are moved constantly so that they can’t get citizenship in an effort to keep them as cheap labor). So disturbing and sad.

  3. Charlie Avatar

    I fully support this legislation. There’s a difference between being a Christian in America and being a citizen in America. In no way does this prove conservatives are un-Christian. These illegal immigrants are taking jobs that Americans could have, they’re having babies just so they can stay in the country and take advantage of programs like Medicare. We can still show them Christian love while encouraging them to follow the laws of this country, and that includes becoming a citizen. Any other country would have you do the same exact thing. This isn’t necessarily a racial thing either. It should apply to ALL illegals, regardless of race or ethnicity. It is misinterpretation if you compare this to segregation. It should not and most likely will not turn into an oppressive division among racial lines. We should be encouraging them to follow the same laws that we follow. In addition to this, we should be reaching out to make sure they know that we are first and foremost Christians, but we have laws here that we shouldn’t overlook for the sake of “fairness and tolerance.” We are very quick to equate Jesus’ stance on social justice with the laws of this country because it sounds a lot better than what our current systems have in place. Obviously Jesus’ ways are above ours, but he also observed the laws of the land. It’s easy to say “we should bow to the needs of illegals” until you realize they’re taking the tax money you give to the government and taking it for free medical care and handouts.

    1. adam mclane Avatar

      “until you realize they’re taking the tax money you give to the government and taking it for free medical care and handouts.”

      The tax and cost thing is short-sited. Don’t forget that people who lack status often pay taxes (and have SSNs) in a variety of ways AND do jobs no American wants. Also, let’s not forget that we are a nation built on immigration. The attitude you’ve expressed here is the exact same attitude that lead to the anti-Catholic rhetoric of the early 20th century… all of which proved to be for naught.

      Do you agree or disagree that this legislation will lead to discriminatory behavior? Remember the primary argument of segregationists and slave owners? What they were doing was legal and we as Christians must submit to and support the rule of law. Seems as though you’re applying the same logic.

      It might be legal (though no one thinks this law will stand up in court or take effect) but that doesn’t make it right.

      The majority repressing the rights of a minority whose labor we depend upon but refuse to acknowledge nor provide a pathway to citizenship, for any purpose, is morally wrong.

    2. Katie Avatar

      Did I miss someone saying “we should bow to the needs of illegals”? Or are those just superfluous quotation marks? Just curious. As for “taking the tax money you give to the government and taking it for free medical handouts” I have to say that you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about and are just spouting propaganda. Most illegal immigrants who have legitamate jobs in the US (the kind that, though Americans “could have”, most would rather be unemployed than do) use purchased social security card numbers to pay taxes. Therefore they are paying into social security that they will never collect. The government even has programs to tax people who they know are not citizens, as well as sign them up for the draft. As for the illegitamately employed immigrants, as someone else pointed out, if someone is willing to hire undocumented workers it is usually so that they can take advantage of them. I’ll bet you’d be surprised to learn that according to the CIA more than 1,000,000 people in the US alone are in slavery. Almost all of these are illegal immigrants, many who came here because they were promised legitimate jobs and citizenship by traffickers.
      “It should not and most likely will not turn into an oppressive division among racial lines.” I’m sorry, but which white-bread fairytale suburb do you hail from? That is SUCH an upper-middle class white person thing to say. Are you really that naive? Like Adam said, who do you think is going to get asked for their ID’s? Who do you think is going to get stopped on the street? As Christians yes, we should be following the laws, but “When injustice becomes the law, resistance becomes duty” (Thomas Jefferson) Just because these are the laws in place doesn’t mean they should be and we should work for justice and freedom and opportunity for everyone, no matter where they were born.

      1. Charlie Avatar

        So what is “unjust” about enforcing the laws of this country? Are you saying that we are to look past the law just so “everyone can get a trophy”? I certainly won’t fight you on the freedom and opportunity statement, but we can’t flippantly say, “Hey everyone! Come to America, don’t worry about becoming a citizen, because we don’t care anymore! We will provide opportunities for you at the cost of our own citizens so that you can partake in this.” That will lead to the demise of the nation right there. Our society today loves to say that “everyone should be included,” and while that sounds like a noble thing, that’s discounting the laws that are in place FOR A REASON. Whether you like them or not, they’re there and we should uphold them, not take a stance of self righteousness that we know better than the government so we should all look past the law for “the greater good.” Everyone is and should be upheld to the same standard across the board when it comes to asking for IDs, getting stopped on the street, etc. Cops will do it whether or not you look black, white, Asian, Hispanic, the list goes on and on. I have to agree with Matt on that point. I also agree that there is a pathway to citizenship that we should point them to, just as we point to the pathway to citizenship in the Kingdom.

        1. adam mclane Avatar

          It’s the selective application of the laws which is the problem. You can’t just say “send all of the ‘illegals’ home” and think that will solve the problem. They are here. They’ve been here. You’ve employed them, housed them, called them neighbor, and benefited from their hard work financially. It’s not that the rule of law has no value. It’s that the rule of law is unequally applied.

  4. Matt Avatar

    if they have SSN’s they are STOLEN (if they are an illegal alien.)

    They card for alcohol and cigarettes, I’ve heard of people being carded for such as old as 40. Does that seem discriminatory? If a law is applied to all, then its not. IF the law said you had to check everyone looking latino, then you would be right. I think the role of the church is to help all needy people also, but also help them get right with God and right with the law. (The bible also doesn’t allow us to make our own rules up when we disagree with the laws).

    Yes, Adam, we are a nation built on immigrants, in fact i can point to my great grandparents names on ellis island. But they came in legally, had to wait, had to be put on a list, had to be put in a holding tank on ellis island to make sure they weren’t infested with stuff. Many got sent back home only .5 miles from the statue of liberty.

    I also find your statement, its the fox news crowd vs the rest of us twit pretty demeaning. Its interesting to see those on any side of the argument take an imago dei argument, then disparage another part of the imago dei.

    You are arguing rights for people who are here illegally? Their right is for them to return to their own country, to be given a fair trial and to be treated with dignity and respect. I am also a SW in colorado so i know about this topic first hand also.

    i have to prove my citizenship to work, to get benefits, to vote, many things. Even to drive. Don’t see how you overlook the fact that they are here illegally. Jesus was not a liberal or a conservative. he smacked them all upside the head regularly.

    The do no job no american wants thing is also a fallacy. there are many i’ve spoken to on long lines that will take any job they can find. They do get undersold by people who are willing to get paid extremely low rates and live in squalor. (and they don’t go tot he cops because they get in trouble).

    I don’t think it would lead to discriminatory behavior any more than the alcohol or tobacco laws would make it discriminatory to purchase those. (Thats’ AGEISM you know… ) along with drivers licenses themselves…

    THEY DO HAVE a pathway to citizenship, like everyone else. They come here legally, have the right credentials, then there is a significant process to go through. (even fro resident aliens). I have helped many through this process. I was a regular at the Portland< ME USCIS office.

    PS the police have always have had a right to ask anyone what they were doing and why they were there and to prove who they were. (When you get pulled over this happens)…

    1. Matt Avatar

      Also. I’ve heard it use that josephs brothers were aliens as well in egypt.

      however, if you look at that biblical case, they presented themselves to Joseph upon entry to the country. Joseph was second in command (akin to our secretary of state). If you look on our passports, it actually has the secretary of states signature asking the other countries secretary of state permission for entry into the country you wish to go into…

  5. Paul Turner Avatar

    Hey Adam,

    I think there is a major difference between illegal immigrants and the civil rights movement. Whereas the civil rights movement was about not treating citizens of America, born in America and under our constitution, as true Americans because of the color of their skin and illegal immigrants who are discriminated again because they do not obey the laws of the land.

    I live and work in Alabama. I am not from Alabama. I am from New York originally, the great melting pot. I went to school with just about every nationality you can think of, so I am comfortable with all nationalities.

    I don’t agree with the fundamentalism approach Alabama is taking, but I am a firm believer in playing by the rules. I would be in favor of a citizenship plan in place that seeks to legalize the illegals that are in our state, quickly and with compassion. For illegals who are hiding from the laws that already exist or are criminals, they should have to face the consequences for their actions, just like every other American.

    1. Matt Avatar

      well said paul.

    2. adam mclane Avatar

      It seems to me that a big part of the “problem” is that on the one hand we take advantage of the low labor costs of undocumented workers while simultaneously not creating a way for them to experience a better life. We want a head of lettuce for $.99 or a dozen eggs for $1.29… and to do that farmers are forced to look for labor who will work for next to nothing. On top of that, you have hundreds of thousands of children who have been raised here, gone to school here, and become adults… all while “being criminals.”

      There has to be a pathway to citizenship for both groups of people. You can’t kick them out… it’s not possible. They live here, they have family here, in all but legal ways they are citizens.

      Like I said, if this law comes to pass (which it seems unlikely it will) I’m OK with it if every single person is carded for every last thing in the law. But I think those in the Hispanic community have a right to be concerned that this law will only be applied to people who don’t “look American.” Of course, this will get very interesting in the next 15-20 years when folks from Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico begin to outnumber other minority groups!

      1. Matt Avatar

        I agree, there needs to be a way to lock in those who are here, and get them in the system, while not encouraging more illegals to cross and deporting those who do cross after now… (I do hear it is slowing down)

      2. Matt Avatar

        So you understand that I do mediate this well. I had a girl flown up to an area where i once worked because they had a great hospital that worked with this disease. She and her mom came on a medical visa (didn’t let dad come) (Boooo) Girl was end stage and was likely to die within 24 hrs. Father attempted to get in, his hearing wasn’t set till a few weeks out (even with me calling senators, USCIS, etc). He ran for it… he got here in time to spend with his daughter and watch her pass.

        he was contrite and the family was going to move back home. They all boarded a plane (mexican govt paid) and returned to their homeland. A week later i got a call letting me know they set a date for the fathers HEARING.

        Lets just say the immigration status wasn’t my job, the girls well being was. I saw to that. I can’t control client behavior, but i did also treat them all humanely and helped them get back home too.

    3. Katie Avatar

      I agree. If it was easier to become a citizen fewer people would come here illegally and people who have been here most of their lives should be granted citizenship. My friend is trying to fight his deportation right now. He’s lived here since he was 2 years old and didn’t even know he wasn’t legal until middle school. He knows no one in Mexico. He will be an alien there if he loses his case. So sad.

  6. Aaron Avatar

    I don’t think this is at all segregation, your right a clerk might not ask a white woman for ID, or will the car dealer e-verify a black family; however, the prejudice falls on the individual not the government, it would appear to me that the individual is acting outside of the law. You raise a great question; however, would this penalize the church for doing its duty? Though I might watch your capitalizations, the church (congregation) would be penalized not only for harboring an illegal immigrant (which is illegal regardless of this law) but also for not verifying someone while making a business transaction. However, the Church (the people) if acting together would be able to fulfill its obligation to feed and clothe the hungry and poor and if they desire to house one they are already to be penalized before the law goes in to place. It would appear that this law might force individual Christians to act like (well,) Christians (for lack of more appropriate terms), and to stop relying on non-profits and churches (organizations) and start taking social actions. Feed and clothe the poor (and don’t count it as a tax write off), and most importantly minister to the immigrants they are in need.

    I may not agree with this law, but I am not a voter in alabama, you can bet if it reaches a national level I will be voting against it. But not because i think its morally wrong, because it is impractical and unnecessary. This law is being put into place to protect the government and our country, which the conservatives (acting the opposite of actual republican values, small gov’t) believe is the best way. I don’t think the question should be whether this law is prohibiting us from being Christians, but rather, is it necessary (Which, I don’t necessarily believe that it is)?

    @ Sean Scott, I am a conservative Republican because I believe that it is not the governments job to regulate the non-profits, or financial aid of the people. But rather, I believe that it is the Christians and the individual persons job to serve those who are in need. If every Christian in the United States started helping others out who need it, we might not need some of these government programs. However, we as a party are being pressured to support medium sized government because we cannot gain popularity without promising that we will create substantial change. However, in government if you stop fighting to change things in a year then we can create sustained change, change that will last beyond one’s term in office, but that is just a pipe dream for true republicans. And you are right in Jesus’ view of social action he might align a lot more with the democrats and the liberals; however, Jesus, wasn’t here to take over the government and regain the world for judaism (like many Jews believed that he would do) instead he came as a simple man preaching a life changing message, and changing the world through his own actions.

    @Adam Christians have faced this kind of dilemma before, and though something that by any Christian standard was said to be unjust, we have still chosen to go with our own moral obligations. As mentioned above the duty should not rest in the government or the chuch (organization), but rather, it should rest in the people who at any time might need to act as Paul or Peter and do something knowing the consequences.

    What you have posted seems to have been written to evoke emotion by saying adding more stringent guidelines, or basing your argument on something that might happen, but has not happened already. This emotion is most-likely because you are passionate about justice, but be careful because this has led to bickering. The major question I have for you is this: If you don’t believe that this will get passed, then why would you post it on your blog with somewhat objectionable commentary (judging by the comments)? It doesn’t appear to be edifying (judging by the comments). Post facts and open ended questions as if everyone’s opinions mattered, so that the comments might be less emotion driven and more a discussion relating to the real issue at hand, not the issue that might come about if something you don’t believe will happen, happens.

  7. Scott Smith Avatar
    Scott Smith

    As I am sure you know, during the Pres. Reagan administration there was a law passed (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986) that granted amnesty to 1000’s of illegals. This law was supposed to end the problem of illegals living here “as criminals” long-term, however, as is evident today, it did not fix the problem Some would even argue it made the problem worse, encouraging illegals to come to the United States and wait until another law was passed granting them legal status. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this and a way you believe we could actually fix the problem for generations to come.
    While I may currently disagree with your stance on this issue, your 2 posts (that I have read) on illegal immigration and the laws surrounding it have made me think/reconsider some past beliefs. Thanks for your insights

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