Perhaps we should make these reasons #102, #103 and #104 to repeal HB56, the Alabama Anti-Immigration Law.
According to the Press-Register, local elected officials are beginning to grapple with the impact of the unfunded mandates of HB56:
Particularly outspoken was [Republican] Mobile County License Commissioner Kim Hastie, who said, “It’s going to be a nightmare.”
Hastie — elected on a pledge to serve tag-renewal customers in 10 minutes — said her office has made quicker service possible by conducting business online, by mail or telephone for the more than 450,000 tag transactions annually in Mobile County.
“The law mandates that residents present documents, and then we have to attach copies of those to their files and save them. We have no scanners and we have no personnel to accomplish this. Whoever wrote this bill put a substantial burden on licensing agents,” she said. . . .
In Baldwin County, [Republican] Probate Judge Tim Russell echoed the frustration, warning that his licensing offices could be “overwhelmed” unless a federal judge blocks implementation of the law at a hearing Aug. 24 in Huntsville.
“We’re going to have to make major changes,” Russell said. “About 20 percent of our residents renew online or by mail. We have 252,000 tags to renew every year, so we are looking at about 25,000 more people coming in.”
He said that workers in Foley and Fairhope licensing offices see about 300 people daily. With the new law, “long lines will happen,” he said.
Mobile County License Commissioner Kim Hastie said Monday that it will cost her office about $580,000 to comply with Alabama’s new immigration law that takes effect Sept. 1.
Hastie told the Mobile County Commission, which supplies her budget, that her office risks being overwhelmed by the law’s new stipulations.
Commissioner Mike Dean described the law as an unfunded mandate and said the state ought to at least delay enforcing it until counties have time to prepare. . .
The law, passed by the Legislature this year and generating national controversy, requires those seeking licenses and many other common documents to present proof of immigration status along with their application.
Hastie said the requirement would apply to nearly every transaction her office administers, including the issuance of renewed driver’s licenses, car tags and business licenses. . .
About 13,000 people per month renew their car tags online. Under the new law, they will all have to come into an office to present a driver’s license or other proof of immigration status, at least the first time.
If the vehicle is registered in two names, both parties must present the necessary documents. . .
For her office to keep up with the additional walk-in traffic, it would have to hire 17 new tellers, Hastie said in a letter to the commissioners. At a bare minimum, the new mandate would require eight new jobs, the letter indicated.
Assuming the extra hands were provided, they wouldn’t have the equipment necessary to do the job without some additional purchases, she said.
The department would need 85 scanners to digitize the identification. Since most of the computers aren’t capable of handling that kind of equipment, the department would have to buy 65 new machines, Hastie said in the letter.
Also, there’s the matter finding or creating the software necessary to manage the scanned information and buying a server to store it.
Once people have their immigration documents on file, they could go back to renewing online, but it will take about 18 months before in-office visits return to their pre-immigration-law levels, Hastie predicted. . .
During Mardi Gras, for example, out-of-state merchants flock to Mobile to hawk their Carnival wares. When the new law goes into effect, they will have to present proof of immigration status to get business licenses.
Since most of them probably don’t carry such documents with them, they would be turned away, Hastie said.