Eloise Zeanah | President | Alabama Republican Women
By Elois Zeanah
Both want to weaken Alabama’s immigration law. President Obama needs votes of illegal aliens to give him a narrow re-election win, according to some pundits. Attorney General Luther Strange apparently thinks he needs businesses which oppose Alabama’s immigration law for his political piggybank. In my view, he needs voters more if he wants to win his next election. Alabama’s immigration law is working and nearly 80% of voters support this law.
AG Strange says his recommendations to repeal major portions of Alabama’s law will strengthen the bill and make it more “business friendly.” Is it possible he wants the Legislature to change this law quickly so (1) he won’t have to defend it and (2) so Alabama’s law will be stripped of its strictest provisions in the event the U.S. Supreme Court upholds Arizona’s law, after which Alabama’s law was modeled?
BREAKING NEWS ON ALABAMA’S IMMIGRATION LAW!
As President of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women, I presented a layman’s critique of how the AG’s recommendations would not strengthen but weaken the law. Now, an expert in immigration law with a nonprofit public interest law firm, concurs. The attorney concludes: “Most of the suggested changes have been made for policy purposes and have little basis in existing federal law.” Read the AG’s recommendations below to see how these are not based on law but motivated by politics.
AG’s recommendations for repeal include:
(1) Sections 5 and 6 which authorize citizens to sue government officials who refuse to enforce the law to keep Alabama from becoming a sanctuary state. These sections carefully track federal law. If they are repealed, citizens will have no recourse to make sure the law is enforced.
(2) Section 10 which requires aliens to carry registration documents on their person to show they are in the country legally. This has been federal law for decades and all countries require this. This section was expressly upheld by the Alabama District Court.
(3) Section 13 which (a) holds landlords accountable for knowingly renting to illegal aliens, and (b) makes it a crime to recruit illegal aliens to move to Alabama. Both provisions carefully track federal law.
(4) Section 27 which prohibits courts from enforcing a contract with an alien if the party knew the alien was in Alabama unlawfully. Neither the district court nor the U.S. Court of Appeals enjoined this section.
(5) Section 28 which requires schools to count how many children of illegal aliens attend so the state can budget their cost. Taxpayers pay over $200 million a year to educate these children – while some students don’t have desks, supplies or textbooks and some teachers are being laid off. The AG did not cite any federal/state law that this provision violates.
(5) Section 29 which requires proof of citizenship to register to vote. This section was not enjoined by either the district court or the Court of Appeals.
Legislators should not vote on changing Alabama’s immigration law until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the Arizona law in May or June. Obama is doing enough mischief to stall/roll back the popular Alabama immigration law. The Attorney General should be fighting him, not voters!
Elois Zeanah is President of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women. She writes a monthly opinion column for Yellow Hammer Politics.