Alabama Can’t Afford Its New Immigration Bill

Alabama's new immigration bill, H.B. 56, will worsen the state's fiscal and economic woes.

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Alabama’s state motto, “We dare defend our rights,” seems particularly ironic given the recent passage of their new immigration bill, H.B. 56. The draconian new law includes provisions that require police to verify the immigration status of individuals they stop if the officers have ”reasonable suspicion” that the drivers are here without documentation. It also makes it a felony for undocumented immigrants to conduct business transactions with the state, which includes services such as providing running water to a home.

The law has the potential to be so damaging to the state that even Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange advocates repealing parts of it.

Given the current fiscal and economic woes of the state, including the recent municipal bankruptcy of Jefferson County, and the negative economic impact of the law—which will come out of the pockets of Alabama residents—Alabamians should be asking whose rights are being defended—and at what cost.

CAP Policy Analyst Sarah Jane Glynn examines those woes, along with how the new law will make them worse. Clearly the state cannot afford it.

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