The Alabama Legislature scored a huge victory on Friday, as Gov. Robert Bentley reluctantly signed immigration law H.B. 658 – after legislators refused to “moderate” provisions Bentley (and open-borders activists) had complained were too “harsh” against illegal aliens.
Alabama’s immigration law H.B. 56, patterned after Arizona’s S.B. 1070, passed in 2011, and has been called the toughest state immigration law in America. But several issues were causing legal Alabamans longer lines to obtain state documents and foreign executives issues with being detained, and those provisions were fixed in the new bill.
But H.B. 658 (PDF) also added two outstanding new provisions that made the law even tougher against illegals:
One requires the state Department of Homeland Security to publish on the Internet the names of illegal immigrants who appear in any state court.
The other section calls for school children in the state’s K-12 system to have their immigration status checked when they enroll. Bill sponsors Rep. Micky Hammon and Sen. Scott Beason have said that would allow the state to gauge the cost of educating illegal immigrants
Open-borders advocates freaked out over the new provisions and called on Bentley to veto it. And, sadly, Bentley whined about the bill, and called for a special session to “fix” it – in particular to remove the school provision.
But legislators made it clear they would not kow-tow to Bentley’s wavering resolve – and refused to make any changes to the bill during the special session. Bentley’s hand was forced, and he decided to sign the bill anyway, an extraordinary move. Bentley explained it as follows:
“In an effort to remove the distraction of immigration from the other business of the special session, I decided to sign House Bill 658 and allow the progress made in the legislation move forward,” Bentley said in a statement. ”The bottom line is there are too many positive aspects of House Bill 658 for it to go unsigned. I don’t want to lose the progress we have made,” he said. “This bill reduces burdens on legal residents as they conduct government transactions. The bill also reduces burdens on businesses while still holding them accountable to hire legal workers. These changes make this a stronger bill.”
How great is the new law? Well let’s just read a sampling of “reviews” by the usual coterie of treasonous open-borders activists…
“I am extremely disappointed in [Bentley]….Initially it looked as if he was willing to stand up to the more radical part of the legislature, but he apparently decided it wasn’t worth the fight….And, unfortunately, all Alabamians will suffer from his decision.”
- Justin Cox, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
“Today is an incredibly dark day for Alabama….Alabama has once again made a name for itself as the worst of the worst.”
- Mary Bauer, Legal Director, Southern Poverty Law Center
In other words…two thumbs way up! If those who embrace lawless amnesty and align themselves with Mexico over Americans hate this law, you know it must be a huge improvement.
BRAVO to the authors of H.B. 658 for upholding the rule of law and making Alabama even less welcome to illegal invaders. SWA thanks Sen. Scott Beason (email, Facebook, Twitter) and Rep. Micky Hammon (email), without whose tireless advocacy, neither H.B. 56 nor the newly-improved bill would ever have become law.