Washington, D.C. — Today, as scores of leaders from Congress, the faith and civil rights communities, labor, and business launch the “One Family, One Alabama” campaign to push back against Alabama’s anti-immigration bill, H.B. 56, the Center for American Progress released “100 Reasons Why Alabama’s Immigration Law is a Disaster.”
The “100 Reasons” webpage outlines how H.B. 56 is damaging the state’s economy, undermining Alabamans’ health and safety, and jeopardizing the welfare of children and families across the state. These 100 reasons include "The 10 Numbers You Need to Know About Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant Law," and the top 10 reasons Alabama’s new immigration law is a disaster for the rule of law, for families, public health, agriculture, education, faith communities, community safety, the state’s economy, and the government.
Alabama’s immigration law makes it a crime to be without status, requires law enforcement to check the papers of anyone they suspect of being undocumented, mandates that public schools check the legal status of their students, abrogates any contract made with an undocumented immigrant, and makes it a felony for undocumented immigrants to contract with a government entity (even for a service as fundamental as having water connected to your house).
Employers have already lost customers and workers since this bill took effect, with business owners reporting that sales are down by 60 percent and dropping by the day in some parts of the state. Undocumented workers as well as lawful resident workers are fleeing the state for fear that their undocumented family members will be arrested. The Alabama Farmers Federation has estimated the state would suffer $63 million in agriculture losses alone as the result of the new law going into effect, while an economist at the University of Alabama estimates that the state economy would lose $40 million if only 10,000 undocumented immigrants stopped working in the state. In fact, officials in Alabama will have to spend considerable amounts of money to defend a law that criminalizes the status of only 2.5 percent of their population. Were Alabama to drive out its entire unauthorized population, it would lose the $130 million in taxes this population pays each year.
But perhaps the most costly consequence of this new law is the human toll, felt by the 2,285 Hispanic students too afraid to attend class on the first Monday following Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn’s ruling upholding key parts of H.B. 56, and the 28,000 citizen children who are vulnerable to losing a parent, and at risk for being separated from their families completely and put into foster care. Though the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately stayed the education provisions of the law, many of the harshest provisions are still in place, and the damage to the state has already been done.
To speak with CAP experts on this topic, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Not-So-Sweet Home Alabama: What People Are Saying About the State’s New Immigration Law
- The Nasty Ripple Effects of Alabama’s Immigration Law: H.B. 56 is Bad for the State and a Losing Strategy for its Supporters
- CAP on Federal District Judge Ruling to Uphold Alabama’s “Papers Please” Law