August 23, 2015

FAILURE IS NO BAR:

Alabama tried a Donald Trump-style immigration law. It failed in a big way. (David Weigel, August 22, 2015, Washington Post)

In 2011, a new Republican legislature and governor enacted HB 56, the Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act. Chief sponsor Micky Hammon warned the undocumented population that he would "make it difficult for them to live here, so they will deport themselves." Renting a house or giving a job to an "illegal" became a crime. Police were empowered to demand proof of citizenship from anyone who looked as if he or she might lack it. School administrators were instructed to do the same to children.

The backlash was massive -- a legal assault that chipped away at the law, and a political campaign that made Republicans own its consequences. Business groups blamed the tough measures for scaring away capital and for an exodus of workers that hurt the state's agriculture industry. After Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election, strategists in his own party blamed his support for the Alabama attrition policy. Those critics included Donald Trump.

"He had a crazy policy of self-
deportation, which was maniacal," Trump told reporter Ronald Kessler after the election. "It sounded as bad as it was."

Asked about the law, Alabama voters rarely say that it worked. Large farms spent millions training new workers. The Byrds conceded that the agriculture sector suffered after some immigrants fled the state. "Most of them left and didn't come back," said Terry Darring-Rogers, who works at a Mobile law firm specializing in immigration.

The debate seemed to be over -- nice try, lesson learned -- until the summer of Trump. 

Posted by at August 23, 2015 6:49 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« UNFORTUNATELY, BRADY'S SUSPENSION WILL BE OVERTURNED: | Main | FLAVOR OF THE MONTH: »