Those of you who know me, know that I shy away from speaking my views about politically sensitive issues because I am often unable to get my viewpoint across without appearing too emotional or weak. Perhaps it is time that I become someone with a louder voice, because today I am saddened at the swift and sudden change in our state.
An Alabama federal judge upheld many of the provisions in HB-56, the state bill on immigration that was modeled after the infamous Arizona immigration law. The Arizona law was later blocked by their state supreme court. In Alabama, the new law went into effect this week.
I was already opposed to many parts of the law, but the one that struck me as the most evasive was the provision about requiring schools to report the immigration status of their students to the state. The law is written in such a way that legally, there can be no action taken by the state based on this information. But, true to form, people were not waiting around to find out what would really happen:
AP - Hispanic Students vanish from Alabama schools
I am most saddened that America is becoming a culture of fear. Instead of looking for a solution to the immigration "problem" all people want to do is pass the buck. Hasn't history shown that education is a means to getting people out of poverty, increasing the skilled workforce, and ultimately creating better communities? I do not pretend to have an answer for how to solve the immigration issue. But I do think it is ironic that a nation of immigrants (except for those American Indians in my audience) is now turning its back on immigrants who would become U.S. citizens if they were only given the chance. They come here to work, to support their families, and to have a good life, just like so many people have done throughout our history. I have even poll numbers that say immigrants would be willing to pay taxes even if they weren't considered citizens. So why are we doing this? Like I said, it is all about fear. And as for immigration itself, I think most people are misinformed about what it does to our economy:
So I don't know what I am really trying to say, except that I am tired of my state leading the way in ignorance.