Alabama has enacted immigration legislation intended to curb the influx of illegal immigrants (non-white latinos) in that state. The law requires schools to discern if their students are in the country illegally while also making it a crime to give a ride in a vehicle to an illegal immigrant. It also gives police the added duty of stopping anybody they suspect of being an illegal immigrant (racial profiling). Though efforts are needed to stop illegal immigration, laws like this or the one from Arizona are an inhumane to accomplish this. Most of Alabama’s 120,000 illegal immigrants work in farming, construction, and chicken processing. It may be hard to realize, but these people have jobs. They have been hired by employers.
Ask yourself one question: if the United States was a poor country, and you had a family to care for, and many jobs could be found in rich Mexico, what would you do? If Mexican employers would hire you to work for them, would you go? Though I offer you this hypothetical scenario, this is the reality for many of these immigrants. They have come for a better way of life, or simply to feed their families. Yet laws like Alabama’s demonize these people and call them criminals. Trying to care for your family is not a crime. In fact, it is a value once celebrated in this country. So if the immigrants are not the true problem, what is?
If employers in each state are willing to hire illegal workers for illegal wages, then should we not make the connection that these people are the ones fueling illegal immigration? After all, if you build it, they will come. Illegal workers would not come to the United States if there was no work. No law a state makes will stop somebody from trying to feed their babies. However, a well enforced law that would harshly penalize a business for employing illegal immigrants could have dramatic effects. It has yet to be tried. If a business would be fined one year’s profits for hiring a single illegal worker, would they take the chance? Or would they hire an American worker? I think the answer is obvious.
Laws such as Alabama’s are not about jobs though, they are about racism. These laws are written by white people. After all, the sponsor of the Alabama bill has been caught calling blacks ‘aborigines’. Both the Alabama and Arizona law give police the duty to racially profiles the public.
I support immigration reform, but I also believe we should address the root of the problem: the fact that businesses provide jobs for illegal immigrants. If there is no benefit to coming to the United States illegally, they will not come here. So, tell your friends. Ask them to think clearly and to practice compassion. It is the corrupt employers who fuel illegal immigration, not the people trying to feed their kids.