…OMG … how did “we” in Arizona allow Alabama to usurp our #1 position as leader in racial prejudice …
… What will Az Gov Jan Brewer and “teapublicans” state legislature dream up next …
…Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant Law Will Cost Billions and Allow Bosses to Abuse Workers Freely … A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center looks at the devastating effects of Alabama’s attack on immigrant workers…
Read complete article here… These Times / By R. M. Arrieta … http://www.alternet.org/story/154409/alabama%27s_anti-immigrant_law_will_cost_billions_and_allow_bosses_to_abuse_workers_freely?akid=8351.23062.yC_3ou&rd=1&t=30
The following article first appeared at Working In These Times, the labor blog of In These Times magazine. For more news and analysis like this, sign up to receive In These Times‘ weekly updates.Three days after completing landscaping work and clearing out a filthy trailer that included a bed bug-ridden mattress and moldy, wet furniture, Hortensia, an immigrant worker in Alabama, went to the man who hired her to get paid. He refused, pointed a gun at her and her relative and told her she couldn’t do anything about it because she didn’t have “papers.”
This is just one of the stories in a report released this week by the Southern Poverty Law Center “Alabama’s Shame: HB56 and the War on Immigrants.” The report came from calls to a hotline set up by SPLC and other groups last year. By late January 2012, more than 5,100 calls had poured in.
Last June, Gov. Robert Bentley signed Alabama’s anti-immigrant law, the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, better known as HB56. The law attacks key aspects of immigrants’ lives and affects the lives of people working hard to overcome poverty. Critics says it unleashes vigilantism, racial profiling and bigotry.
Since June, thousands of undocumented workers have left the state, according to a new University of Alabama study.
It’s unknown exactly how many, but using 2010 data as a basis, early estimates project between 40,000 to 80,000 undocumented workers earning $15,000 to $30,000 a year have left the state as a result of HB 56. That’s according to a report from the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research, “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the New Alabama Immigration Law” authored by Samuel Addy.
The researcher says the law will cost the state “up to 140,000 direct and indirect jobs.” State GDP losses could total $2.3 to $10.8 billion and reduce local sales taxes by $20.0 to $93.1 million. Crops have been left rotting in the fields. Farmers have lost millions of dollars. Agribusiness in Alabama is a billion-dollar industry, a third of that business in poultry.
Anti-immigration supporters say if those jobs were vacated, then U.S. citizens could do them. Farmers say that’s not the case, that most of the people they’ve hired since the exodus of immigrant workers don’t stay more than a few hours laboring in the fields, Paul Reyes reports in Mother Jonesmagazine.
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