This column is cross posted from Townhall.com
Alabama Tackled Illegal Immigration and Unemployment Started Dropping
By Gina Loudon
Alabama politicians ran on the issue of reforming illegal immigration in the state, mostly in response to an outcry from citizens hurt or unemployed by the problem of Illegal Immigration.
They kept their promise.
Last session, the Alabama Legislature led by Senator Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) sponsored and passed House Bill 56 that essentially upheld the federal law already on the books. Governor Bentley signed the bill. The beast was loosed…
National social welfare advocates descended on Alabama like vultures on road kill and the stage was set for an ugly battle. Self identified “religious groups” (whose faux religion is social liberalism) scared the “bejesus” out of unsuspecting (and under-informed) religious leaders who fell for the threats of arrest and worse if they were to comply with Alabama’s new law. The main stream media, from NBC to Al-Jazeera, was more than happy to do the heavy lifting for the so-called religious groups opposing the bill. Cries of racism, bigotry, and mayhem resonated with those who are generally susceptible to such rhetoric.
Patriots rallied for the rule of law and held the politicians’ feet to the fire. Speakers at the rally included mothers of Hispanic babies, victims of crimes of illegal immigration, and those exploited by the failed permissive policy on immigration. Politicians, especially Alabama Senators, listened to the people, and stood firm on their promise to keep the law in place that upholds the rule of law.
The Department of Justice sued, but the bill was upheld in court.
Immediately after the bill (HB 56) was passed, the unemployment rate began to drop. Since the bill passed last legislative session, in some counties, unemployment has dropped dramatically. For example, unemployment has gone from 10%-6.9% in the former illegal immigrant hotbed of Marshall County, Alabama.
But social liberals don’t tire easily. Fueled by the throngs of union-funded Occupiers, those opposed to the rule of law threatened that the crops would rot in the fields, because no legal workers would work under the conditions and for the pay that the illegal immigrants would.
But they were wrong.
In fact, Alabamians were starving for jobs and the supply was choked by a massive influx of illegals who swallowed up the jobs as they came available. Legal Alabamians stood in line for blocks at job fairs hoping for their turn to work the job previously dominated by illegals.
It worked. Alabama went back to work.
Further, the same patriots who held the politicians’ feet to the fire with their rallies, local talk, and blogs, protected employees under the law, while the opposition supported the contention that people, any people, should sweat in the fields, with no protection from standard employment law, or fair wages. In essense, we did the job that the unions wouldn’t do.
Liberals had to face the irony and hypocrisy of their dichotomy that what they supported was a permanent underclass without the rights all men should enjoy. While conservatives championed the positive economic impact as the heavy social welfare burdens began to ease, the crowded emergency rooms thinned, and unemployment continued to drop.
“In the last three months alone, we’ve seen an unprecedented drop of 1.7 percentage points,” said Alabama Republican Gov. Robert Bentley in a January 20 statement.
Alabama House Majority Leader Rep. Micky Hammon (R-Decatur) said the law is replacing illegal immigrant labor with Alabamians.
“Despite how desperately illegal immigrant sympathizers have tried to portray this law as somehow harmful to our state’s economy, the truth is more Alabamians are working today thanks in part to our decision to crack down on illegal immigration.”
Alabama’s unemployment rate has shrunk and they have added 35,400 new jobs since January of 2011.
Other states should take notice.