Conservator blogger and editor, Conor Friedersdorf, of the Atlantic magazine rightly nails the ultimate result of the new Alabama Immigration bill:
The Alabama immigration law is an attempt to embed immigration enforcement into every aspect of daily life. The inevitable result: a state bureaucracy that is suddenly omnipresent in daily life!
That’s a huge price to pay for reducing the population of illegal immigrants. Workplace enforcement makes sense. . . But turning schools, hospitals, apartments for rent, and even informal human relationships into de facto opportunities for immigration enforcement is imprudent. It gives the state too large a role in the daily lives of folks who’ve broken no laws. And if efforts to rid America of illegal drugs are any indication, any failure of this new immigration regime will result in additional intrusions. Isn’t enforcement in workplaces and prisons enough? The government plays too large a role in daily life already.
Where are the small-government conservatives on this? Where is the libertarian-leg of the Republican Party? Where are the complaints about the “red-tape” and “government regulation that hinder a business’ ability to prosper and thrive?”
In addition to his small government argument though, he cites some likely situations as reasons why this bill should be
Think of a man, here on a work visa, who is dating an illegal immigrant woman — that is to say, someone whose parents brought her to this country when she was 7, and has lived in the United States for the last 20 years. Under this law, it is illegal for that man to drive his girlfriend to a doctor’s appointment!
There are countless real world examples as sympathetic. This is especially so in immigrant enclaves, where the documented and undocumented often live side by side in the same subculture. Even beyond those enclaves, the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants now living in Alabama have friends, colleagues, and even family members of various races who are here legally. . . As a Birmingham church group prepares to depart on its annual bible retreat, should it exclude from the communal van the longtime parishioner who is known to her co-religionists to be in the country illegally? These are awful choices to force on people. When legislation results in law-abiding citizens having pangs of conscience, odds are the law is a bad one.
Opposition to this bill is not a “liberal” position; “conservatives” should be mounting opposition as well.
For me, this legislation is unjust because is completely fails to deal with the complexity of the illegal immigration issue. Since at least 1986, because of the preferences of Corporate America, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, we have had practical open borders. As a consequence, children have be born and raised here, roots have been established, and families have been established. Whether its the expected massive increase in rolls of foster care , or adding additional burdens to our local jails, or impacting law enforcement, the legislation completely disregards the collateral consequences to its enforcement.