By Sofia Navas-Sharry:
People are reacting to Alabama’s anti-immigrant bill, even though most parts of it won’t take effect until September 1st. Undocumented immigrants are fleeing the state, and it’s kind of very similar to what has already happened in Georgia.
Yet, while peaches grow moldy and money is wasted over the bill in Georgia, Alabama proceeds with the mother of all anti-immigration bills. And now, before it’s even able to do the most damage, the side effects have already started to set in.
Immigrants all over Alabama have either already moved or are in the process of moving just in case the law does survive a federal court challenge. The bill’s main goal is not only to force undocumented people out of the state, but more, part of a larger Republican strategy to get them to leave the country. What they don’t know is that immigrants are tough, as is evident by undocumented immigrants such as Domingo Castro, 29, who left Guatemala 15 years ago due to poverty. They’re not willing to give up so easily:
“If Alabama’s immigration law takes effect,” he said in translated Spanish, “Maybe I’ll go to another state where they don’t have the law.”
Although Alabama is in desperate need of labor to rebuild homes and buildings after the devastating tornadoes this year, it appears all Alabama Republicans want to do is target undocumented immigrants and kick them out of the state — and the country. They don’t realize what is apparent to the rest of us, which is that their plan will soon backfire, costing Alabama a whole lotta money and the Republican party, some much needed Latino votes.
Take note: of the Alabama workforce, 4.2 percent is made up of unauthorized workers according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Once they’re gone, Alabama will soon find itself desperate for them, as neighboring Georgia is learning now.