Thursday, December 15, 2011

Punishing the elderly

From Business Week, a look at the effects of the Alabama immigration law. It is really ugly.

Mobile County spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to comply with a law designed to drive illegal immigrants from Alabama. Kim Hastie, the first-term Republican license commissioner, had an up-close look at the crackdown’s political cost....“I’m going to do what the law tells me to do,” Hastie, 52, said in Mobile last week. “But, as an elected official representing the taxpayer, I feel it’s my duty to say what I feel is unjust to the taxpayer. My concern is for the way the citizens of this state are being treated. This process has not been good.”

And the coup de grâce:

One World War II veteran had no birth certificate, an expired driver’s license and a military identification that the county couldn’t accept, she said. 
“He was so mad he was yelling,” Hastie said. “He said, ‘I served my country and I can’t register my car?’”

This is broken record time, but these effects were all foreseen. It was abundantly clear that the law would be expensive and intrusive. And now it's even about punishing elderly veterans and widows.

It is also another indication that the deportation-oriented policy of the Obama administration is having no effect at all on state legislators, who still perceive the federal government as doing nothing. The number of state immigration laws are ballooning. No matter what the Supreme Court rules about Arizona, we will see a large number of inane laws until Congress restructures immigration policy.


Anonymous,  9:57 AM  

Truly disgraceful.

The fundamental problem is political, a disconnect between rhetorical and pragmatic obligations. Republicans want to appear to be cracking down on illegal immigration to please their base, but their business financiers doesn't want any such thing (cheap, compliant labor). The converse is true for Democrats: they want to appear to be immigration reformists to appease their progressive base, but their labor financiers don't actually want border liberalization (see the hubbub about Mexican truckers).

In the end, for all the rhetoric, neither party really wants to reform anything, so nothing gets reformed. Who loses? Real people, immigrants and non-immigrants alike.

Vicente Duque 12:32 PM  

SB 1070 : Business loves "Federal Preemption" and doesn't like "State Rights" creating regulations and obstacles for them, the Chamber of Commerce too, of course. "Federal Preemption" means less legal actions from states and people against business

"Federal Preemption" means the superiority of the Federal Government over the whims of the states and the supremacy of Congress Law over State Law. That is why Business prefers decisions at the Federal level and not a Hodge-Podge, that is a "mess" or a "jumble" of State Laws and Regulations.

So you see, what the Supreme Court decides in the Case of Arizona v United States, "papers please" or SB 1070 is of enormous interest for Business and sooner or later they are going to feel the glory or the pain.

As far as I understand Business in Arizona is not very happy with Governor Jan Brewer. And not only Business but many Civic Associations, Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, City Mayors, Councilors, County Commissioners, Legal Groups and Lawyers don't love the actions of that Lady.

You can tell me that Jurisprudence is an abstract science and that these economic and political considerations have no weight.

May be you are right, but at the end, Business, Money, Civic Associations, Legal Professionals, Professors, Civil Rights Activists etc .... will find a way of being heard. And big political and electoral movements may ensue against this ugly patchwork of legislations by 50 states.


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