I thought the best
most misworded headline from the papers was from the Opelika-Auburn News: Opelika man released from hospital after fatal accident. But then I saw this from the Tuscaloosa News: Editorial: Immigration attorneys help dispel myths.
Based upon the headline, I was actually interested to read the article expecting to learn of counter-arguments to some legal issues which I and other have raised. However, after reading, a better title to the article would be “Immigration attorneys enhance fears”. The article sets the stage:
Holy Spirit Catholic Church provided a much-needed public service Sunday when it hosted a post-Mass meeting that put a public face on the state’s harsh new immigration law.
The church provided immigration attorneys to outline the new law to more than 200 people, many of them concerned about what could happen to them once the law goes into effect Sept. 1.
Dorothy McDade, coordinator for Hispanic Ministries at Holy Spirit, organized the meeting to address those concerns and fears among Hispanics who attend the church.
“They bring their fear here, then we can tell them the correct information,” she said. “It does help dispel myths.”
The attorneys went point-by-point to “quote dispel the myths.” They confirmed to the audience:
The law will allow police to arrest those suspected of being illegal immigrants, which many say will lead to profiling, and requires businesses to check the legal status of workers,
The law makes it a crime for landlords to knowingly rent to an illegal immigrant, and makes it illegal to knowingly transport a person who is in Alabama illegally.
Finally, it requires schools to check the immigration status of students.
What myths did these attorney’s dispel for the congregants of this church meeting? None really.
“To the extent that someone is undocumented, this new law frightens them, and that would be a understatement,” Armstrong said. “Once they realize how overreaching this law is, it’s even more frightening.”
As reported in an accompanying article (with an equally great title), Holy Spirit hosts meeting on illegal immigration legislation, the attorney did dispel one apparent myth that undocumented children were banned from public schools. (However, they are banned from public universities in Alabama. They are required to admit their illegal status to public school officials which will certainly cause a chilling effect of the enrollment of these children; after all, both children and parents are susceptible to arrest for being here.)
So what good news did these immigration attorneys bring to this church?
“The good news we can give (the local Hispanic community) is the lawsuit has been filed,” McDade said.
Thanks, I am sure that is a relief.
How can these families plan? Sadly, this is good advice from the attorneys:
There will be another meeting Sunday. Staff with Alabama Appleseed, an immigrant advocacy group, will help people write documents granting power of attorney over property or children if the person is in danger of being deported.
There is a deep concern among parents that they will be separated from their naturalized children, McDade said.
We can’t think of a worse prospect for any family.