Day 3, Entry #4 with Rebecca Royen discussing HB 56 and the concerns with immigration in the state and the U.S.
Sorry I did not have a chance to e-mail yesterday…
I agree with Mary. It seems to be typical of our government–both state and federal–to enact a bill, law etc. without having thought of all the angles: enforcement, impact on general public, etc. Often, these things seem self-serving or solely politically motivated. I understand that there was extreme fall-out when HB56 went into effect, not only in the places Mary mentioned, but also at places like the registry. There were parts of the bill that the general public was not made aware of, including specifics about car registration, etc.
I personally knew someone who was affected because he did not know that he needed different documentation than before when he went to renew his registration. Inferior dissemination of information to the public is what often creates a lot of resentment and opposition to new governmental policies and procedures. Many people think “oh, this immigration bill has no direct effect on me,” when, in reality, there are “hidden” parts of it that affect every Alabama resident.
Not to mention exactly what Mary said about “targeting.” Having something like this in place will undoubtedly make certain law enforcement officials–and even civilians–zealots about “uncovering” and punishing immigrants. Though the newest revision of the bill states that the suspicion of non-citizenry cannot be a primary offense (i.e. a cop cannot pull someone over because they think they might be an immigrant; there has to be another offense committed to justify the traffic stop), there are certain to be those in power who still consider it such. Just as with any other racial/gender/ethnic profiling or targeting, the enforcement of even the revised bill is sure to create a lot of fervent opposition and discord. I think everyone will agree that the last thing we need is more tension within our community based on race, gender or ethnicity. Maybe it is time for our government to look WITHIN–as opposed to around them–to uncover the real source of corruption, ulterior motives and malintent.
*For my information about HB 56 as well as stories from those personally affected by HB 56, check out Alabama Immigration: Making Sense of HB 56 and They Are Us, community websites created by Kristy Shaulis and Ana Rodriguez.