Alabama's state law H.B. 56 that passed on June 9th, 2011 is a racist piece of legislation because it deputizes state officials to carry out federal appraisals solely based on appearance and circumstance. In other words, if a child is entering kinder garden in Alabama, the school is required to determine the child's immigration status before enrolling that child. If you are thinking about getting a doctorate at the University of Alabama and subsequently renting an apartment in Tuscaloosa, you have to prove that you are a U.S. citizen. Before you take that job in Montgomery, make sure you can prove that you are authorized to breathe in the United States.
Alabama's H.B. 56 prompts Alabama school system officials to verify the status of any child entering kinder garden. But, this is not a regular function of school officials; this law burdens school officials with more bureaucracy and paperwork than they already ignore. So, worsy case scenario, Alabama's H.B. 56 creates an index of all "undocumented" children in the state of Alabama. A slightly more-worse case scenario looks something like the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. Except, what does an "undocumented" child look like? Or, why stop there? Why not proffer legislation that requires school officials to make a list of all the red-headed children, or all the children that don't want to play dodgeball because of the inherit violence in the game.
Moreover, Alabama's HB 56 is sure to be shot down by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union. So, Governor Robert Bentley is going to have to go back to the ole' drawing board and draw on a slightly less racist piece of legislation, creating more bureaucracy and government oversight. You know the conservative sectors of the political spectrum talk a great game about not wasting taxpayer time, and making government smaller. Do they understand that wholesale repeal of hard-fought accords create more government and more need for cult of personality politicians that will tell you everything you want to hear?
One of their favorite yarns is that undocumented workers don't pay taxes, that "undocumenteds" are the only ones using food stamps or social services, that they're the reason there are no jobs in the U.S. What conservative officials don't mention is that bills like Alabama's H.B. 56 have already been proven unconstitutional. In 1982, the United States Supreme Court denied state laws that attempted to block funding for illegal aliens in Plyler v. Doe. In Plyler v. Doe (1982) the U.S. Supreme Court found that "any state funds for the education of children who were not "legally admitted" into the United States, and which authorizes local school districts to deny enrollment to such children, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."
Alabama's H.R. 56 encourages xenophobia and wholesale racist doctrines, decrees, and diatribes. Moreover, it creates more government oversight, not less, by unduly involving the federal government in what is clearly a state's right issue, or a problem encountered by state governments. This law speaks to the worse in Americans because it punishes people in the country with the least assurances. I understand that they are undocumented and illegal, but I do not think it is fair to prosecute those with zero options or demonize their desire for better lives. Maybe, the U.S. works just hard enough to ensure that undocumented workers don't throng into our country. But, undocumented workers are here, and they're an integral part of our service industry, our states, and our country.
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.