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As Economic Fallout From HB 56 Mounts, Calls Grow to Repeal Alabama’s Anti-immigrant Law

by Mahwish Khan on 11/18/2011 at 11:12am

The American Dream Is OverEarlier this week, Mooncat (Sherry) at Left in Alabama reported on the Economic Fallout from Beason-Hammon Immigration Law:

Now the economic fallout from Beason-Hammon is hitting the fan.

Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, which announced earlier this year its plans to build a $100 million plant in Thomasville, “is having second thoughts” about Alabama in light of the controversial law, according to David Bronner, chairman and chief executive of the Retirement Systems of Alabama. 

“They’re not happy,” said Bronner, citing conversations with Golden Dragon executives. “They have expressed their concerns to me on numerous occasions.”

…  Bronner, who oversees the state’s $29 billion public pension fund, first voiced his concernsabout the immigration law in an interview with the Birmingham News, saying it had caused the Spanish owners of BBVA Compass to cancel plans for an $80 million bank tower in Birmingham.               

That’s some serious fallout, especially in these harsh economic times. This is just one of the many consequences from HB 56. Remember, this law is doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing according to State Senator Scott Beason, Congressman Mo Brooks, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and anti-immigrant leader Mark Krikorian.

No wonder there are growing calls, even from some GOP Senators, to change HB 56.  The Anniston Star says that Alabama should just get rid of it altogether:

While politicians talk jobs, jobs, jobs, the state’s economy will contract by nearly $40 million if only 10,000 undocumented workers leave because of the bill. How will changes now help Alabama recover that revenue? (Don’t say unemployed Alabamians will take these jobs, because they won’t, as the latest edition of Bloomberg Businessweek makes clear.)

How will these changes help farmers whose crops were not harvested because there was no labor, or help the family that has to pay more at the grocery?

And will these changes assure China’s Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group that Alabama is not a hostile environment and that it should go ahead with the $100 million plant for south Alabama? Rival states that hope to lure the industry are using this illegal-immigration law to their advantage. Will these changes undermine that strategy?

Unfortunately, what Dial supports will not be enough. Making the law less of a burden on Alabamians can’t make up for the damage done to the state’s economy and reputation. The best thing the GOP can do is admit it was a bad idea, apologize for problems the law caused and repeal it. Anything less will do little to undo the real damage.

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