Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Alabama’s harsh immigration law targeted in new campaign; Republicans admit mistake

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 16, 2012

For those whom follow the news, Alabama has come under national and international scrutiny for its harsh law, ostensibly aimed at curbing illegal immigration.

Revelations that the law known as HB56 was written largely in part by Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and fostered in Alabama by Republican State Senator Scott Beason, approved by the overwhelming majority Republican State House and Senate, then signed into law by Republican Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, have set farmers, religious & charitable organizations and state and local government agencies into motion.

Even Missourians and their renown newspaper, the Kansas City Star, have expressed disgust with their Secretary of State, and wrote on February 9th, 2012 that,In place after place, laws drafted by Kobach have either been declared unconstitutional or proven disastrous. Yet he happily forges ahead, representing the state of Kansas as an elected official and acting as an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. How many editorials will it take before people figure this guy out?

Since implementation of that law, farmers’ crops have rotted in the fields because of an inadequate supply of laborers – increasing their losses, and the price of food. Religious and charitable agencies have expressed concern that they would run afoul of the law if they provided Good Samaritan assistance. Local and state governmental agencies have refused to grant business  or other licenses to those whose skin color or language make them suspect – in other words, any person whose skin color is not white, or may speak with an accent.

Police have little recourse, because the strident law provides for equally harsh penalties for not enforcing it.

The state has been embarrassed at home and abroad when news of the arrest and detention of two automobile manufacturing executives from Honda and Mercedes-Benz whom were jailed briefly while on business in Alabama, where the two companies maintain huge manufacturing facilities. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch of Missouri quickly seized upon that moment, and in a highly publicized campaign, reiterated that “We are the ‘Show Me State,’ not the show me your papers state,” and encouraged the firms to relocate.

Economic research performed by Dr. Samuel Addy, Director of the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research at the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration has indicated a cost benefit analysis loss exceeding $10Billion – which represents over 6% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product – including a loss exceeding $264Million in tax revenues.

Spurred by these events, and the state’s public outcry, the Republican dominated state government of Alabama has acknowledged some changes to the law are warranted. In all fairness, however, some Republicans have acknowledged the law was misguided from the start, among them Republican Whip, State Senator Gerald Dial, who in a CNN interview said, We’ve put our law enforcement people in an awkward position of trying to enforce a law that’s not really that clear.

And we have worked diligently in this state for 40 years to overcome some of the images that we have had. And to see it certainly regress back to those images that are certainly not Alabama, that don’t portray the true and real Alabama certainly bothers all of us. So, we’re committed to making some changes so we can help to overcome those images. 

What we did, we overreached, and we — not only in trying to make sure we didn’t have illegal immigrants in this state. We also have penalized our own citizens who have lived here all their lives. All the hardships we placed on them are also hardships that we tried to place on illegal immigrants. And this was not the intention of this bill. It was not my intention.

And I made a mistake in voting on this bill as it is today, and I’m a person that will admit I made a mistake, and I’m committed to trying to correct those mistakes. And we’re working on those as you speak.”

At least the good senator can acknowledge they screwed up… and in a BIG way.

Curiously, no one thought about that beforehand. No one had foresight. Why not?

None of these events have gone unnoticed.

And yet, Republicans continue to foist their ill-conceived, stupid racist agenda upon their citizens, at home in Alabama, and in the nation.

It’s time to oust the idiots, and place term limitations upon them.

Hollywood director takes aim at Alabama immigration law with documentary series

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 4:43 PM     Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 4:59 PM
Chris Weitz, pictured with camera, has directed major Hollywood productions like “American Pie,” “The Golden Compass” and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” Now he’s leading a video campaign to expose what he calls prejudices stemming from the Alabama immigration laws. (Summit Entertainment)

Chris Weitz perhaps isn’t a director you know by name, but you know his movies, and soon you’ll know his cause in relation to the Alabama immigration law.

Weitz directed high profile Hollywood hits like “American Pie” and the second “Twilight” film. His film “A Better Life” is currently up for a best actor Oscar for its lead Demian Bichir‘s performance as a Mexican immigrant working as a landscaper in California.

The director has taken that passion from the big screen to the real world with a campaign to repeal Alabama’s strict new immigration law. With four short videos, his “Is This Alabama?” campaign hopes to expose the “cruelty” and “racial prejudice” he says are sure to result from the law, according to The Guardian.

The Guardian report says the videos were designed to resemble political attack ads against House Bill 56, which passed last June and has led to a number of Hispanic families fleeing the state for having no papers.

“Is This Alabama?” is a project of the Center for American Progress, America’s Voice Education Fund, and Define American. The videos were written and directed by Chris Weitz.

Featured in the videos are Alabama residents, educators, college students, farmers, Hispanic mothers and former U.S. District Court Judge U.W. Clemon.

You can find more information on the campaign at isthisalabama.org and follow the movement’s progress on Twitter.

Watch the videos below (WARNING: “The Two Faces of Alabama” contains mild profanity)

Not the kind of Alabama I want.

An Alabama Mother Speaks

The Two Faces of Alabama

What Alabama Knows About Civil Rights


This story originally appeared here: http://blog.al.com/tuscaloosa/2012/02/hollywood_director_tackling_al.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: