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Anti-immigrant legislation ain’t just hurting the immigrants

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You know, some folks are dumb enough to believe that when you shoot yourself in the foot it only affects your foot. Simply put, that just isn’t how the body works. I wasn’t that good at science in school, but I did manage to learn at least that much just by showing up to class occasionally.

You’re probably well aware of the anti-immigrant sentiment that’s been gnawing at this country’s insides for years, but more specifically I’d like to draw your attention to the efforts by Republican governors in recent months to follow put a choke hold on immigration. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed his anti-immigrant legislation in April after campaigning on a promise to do like Arizona and put that fear and bigotry to good use. Earlier this month, Alabama passed what is considered to be the nation’s strictest anti-immigrant legislation.

 

 

From the Los Angeles Times:

The 72-page legislation known as HB 56 also touches on issues as diverse as contract law and voter registration. It makes Alabama the fourth state, after Georgia, Utah and Indiana, to follow Arizona’s lead in enacting significant statewide immigration laws, potentially mollifying those voters frustrated with Washington’s perceived failure to deal with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.

Other states, including California, Florida, Nevada and Texas, have seen SB 1070-style bills fail during this year’s legislative sessions, and portions of the Arizona law — including the provision requiring police to check the immigration status of those they stop and suspect are in the country illegally — have been blocked by a federal judge and may land before the Supreme Court.

The American Civil Liberties Union declared its intention Thursday to file a lawsuit opposing HB 56, arguing that it would invite racial profiling and require police to “demand ‘papers’ from people they stop whom they suspect are not authorized to be in the U.S.”

“This draconian initiative signed into law this morning by Gov. Robert Bentley is so oppressive that even Bull Connor himself would be impressed,” said Wade Henderson, head of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, referring to Birmingham’s notorious segregationist public safety commissioner from the civil rights era. “HB 56 is designed to do nothing more than terrorize the state’s Latino community.”

The idea, here, of course, was to chase away those pesky immigrants who are supposed to be stealin’ those good American jobs while living off of welfare and carting in all those drugs across the border (they may be pesky but you damned sure can’t call ’em lazy). Amerka fer Amerkans, and all that. But then a funny thing happened. Well, OK, maybe it wasn’t all that funny to those farmers in Georgia. Because now that the anti-immigrant legislation has passed and Gov. Good Deal has signed off on it, the immigrants, not being stupid, have hightailed it out of  Georgia. This unfortunate development kinda left the farmers high and dry because now they don’t have anyone left to harvest the crops. So far the estimated loss to Georgia’s farmers is somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 million, but it could easily top $1 billion before long. Suffice to say the farmers are kinda pissed.

From Georgia Public Broadcasting:

The Georgia Agribusiness Council estimates the total loss stemming from spoiled and unpicked produce to be close to $1 billion.

And that doesn’t include other crops such as pecans and cotton that will be harvested next.

Farmers have had to leave crops in the field due to a labor shortage they say stems from the state’s new immigration crackdown. Council president Bryan Tolar even if crops get picked, there may not be enough workers to process them.

 

Oopsie daisy. Yeah, well. That’s the kinda thing that happens when you let the little head do the thinkin’ there Gov. Good Deal. Especially when that little head is perched squarely on top of your shoulders.

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