Et in Alabama ego 外星人在亚拉巴马星球
The state has come up with America’s harshest immigration law该州实行美国最严移民法
Jul 21st 2011 | MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA | from the print edition
THERE are few immigrants in Alabama, and even fewer who are there illegally. Roughly 3% of the state’s population is foreign-born, compared with 12.5% nationwide, and many of those people are legal immigrants. So in June, when Alabama passed the nation’s most draconian anti-immigration law, it struck many observers as a bit of an overreaction.
Frustrated by long federal inaction, several states have taken immigration into their own hands in recent years. The Alabama law imitates those in some respects. Like Arizona’s, it allows police to ask people about their immigration status when questioning or arresting them. As in neighbouring Georgia, the penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers will be stiffened. But the Alabama law goes much further than either. It bars people from giving lifts in their cars to undocumented immigrants, or doing them various other favours. Because of poor phrasing, it might even keep some legal migrants out of state universities. It also requires schools to determine the legal status of pupils’ parents. That is startling; it could discourage parents from enrolling their American-born children.
One of the primary complaints about the new law is pragmatic: if you are going to have illegal immigrants, it would be best if they were not undereducated, vulnerable, and afraid of the cops. “I would like people to come forward and report serious crimes,” says Mary Bauer, the legal director for the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC). “I think that’s in my interest.”
对新法最主要的担忧是实用主义的：既然你有非法移民，如果他们都受过良好教育、面对生活不脆弱、面对警察不害怕就最好不过了。“我希望人们上我这来报告严重罪行。” 位于蒙哥马利的南方贫穷法律中心的法务总监（SPLC）Mary Bauer）说，“我们就是干这个的。”
The other main issue is that parts of the law, at least, may be unconstitutional. Earlier this month the SPLC, along with several other civil-rights groups, filed a lawsuit. One plaintiff, Matt Webster, is adopting two undocumented boys. Federal law allows that, but the children do not gain legal status until several years after the adoption is completed. In the meantime, if the law takes effect on September 1st as scheduled, Mr Webster would not be allowed to drive his children to school.
In a speech this week Mike Hubbard, the speaker of the Alabama House and a sponsor of the bill, said that he understands that parts of the law may be struck down. That is what has happened to such laws in other states. In Alabama, it might even be tacitly welcome. There was no pressing public need for such a law, given how few immigrants are in the state, but some saw it as good politics. Once the bill was written, Republicans, who control both chambers of the state legislature and hold all the statewide offices, could hardly vote against it without looking like liberals. A setback from the courts would save Alabama the cost and trouble of full implementation, without embarrassing anyone. In fact, Republicans could claim to be victims of federal meddling.