Is this America? No, it’s Alabama
May 17, 2012 Leave a comment
There’s plenty wrong with Alabama’s “papers, please” immigration law, but I did not realize quite how offensive it is. Apparently, in “fixing” it, Alabama is trying to make it worse. (For some background, here’s some Colbert or a great This American Life segment). Anyway, the NYT had an editorial yesterday and this part really caught my attention:
House Bill 658 preserves the malign intent of the earlier law and makes some of its provisions worse. It expands the “papers, please” requirement to target passengers in a stopped car as well as the driver. It doubles, to 48 hours, the time someone can be jailed while awaiting an immigration check. It increases jail time and fines for newly created — and surely unconstitutional — state immigration crimes. It does nothing meaningful to shield from prosecution those who “harbor” or “transport” immigrants for religious or humanitarian reasons.
Got that? A friend driving a car makes a rolling stop on a right turn and all of a sudden you have to prove to Alabama’s police that you are a legal American. Seriously?! Can’t prove it on the spot– well, then they can keep in you in jail for two days while they figure this out. Seriously, who are the people who want to live in a country like this? (Oh, right, Republicans). Reminds me of that whole “first they came for…” story. Oh, and if your Christian (or other faith) leads you to help out with a ride or safe place to sleep for a human being who happens to be an illegal immigrant well, I guess you might as well be harboring a known murderer. Nice.