The Alabama Homeland Security Department expects massive budget cuts this upcoming year due to a reduction in flow of federal dollars.

“It will be about a 40 to 50 percent cut in the state’s homeland security budget,” says John Scripture, spokesperson for the head of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security Spencer Collier (ADHS).

Accordingly, DHS expects to greatly reduce its programs and projects:

These cuts and reduction in funds for functioning programs will be a blow to the ADHS. However, the ADHS will require more funds from the state’s general fund to fulfill its newly bestowed duties. According to the Alabama’s new immigration law, the state’s homeland security department is responsible for maintaining the E-Verify system. This will require a 25 percent increase in general funding for the department to run the citizenship authentication system.

For an already cash-strapped state budget, this could pose a problem. Nevertheless, Scripture is assured the funding will be there. “Until the legislature changes its mind, we will require an increase in funding from the general fund.”

For you see, DHS had a fairly large responsibility placed upon it by the Alabama Legislature. In an effort to be sly, the Legislature converted DHS into the Human Resources/Personnel department of every small business in Alabama: all 80,000 of them. (See here and here)


Here is the transcript from ALGOP State Senator Gerald Dial’s interview by Brooke Baldwin on CNN:

BALDWIN: In Alabama, you have got supporters of the state’s new illegal immigration law expressing some buyer’s remorse. It recently came to a head after police arrested a German who ended later turned out to be a Mercedes-Benz executive, Mercedes-Benz, a major employer in the state of Alabama.

Also then, a Japanese man was detained, and he turned out to work for Honda, another big employer. That prompted a paper in Missouri to invite foreign carmakers to relocate there. Take a look at the quote: “We are the Show Me State, not the show me your papers state” — “Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.”

Joining me now from Montgomery, State Senator Gerald Dial. He is Alabama’s Republican whip.

And, Senator Dial, thanks for coming on.

I know you supported this law, parts of which took effect back in September. It’s considered now — and I have talked to your governor, he agrees — the nation’s toughest. Are you, sir, having some second thoughts?

GERALD DIAL (R), ALABAMA STATE SENATOR: We certainly are. And we’re also looking at making some changes in this law.

We probably overreached. I think most people in Alabama agree that we overreached on this law. And we have met with Attorney General Luther Strange and look at some change that needs to be made to this law. And that’s the good thing about the legislature. The bill we passed last year, we can start in this legislative session and make some changes.

BALDWIN: We will talk about some of that overreaching and maybe potential changes in a minute.

But in terms of I guess the image, are you worried at all that your state is being branded as being hostile to overseas businesses, some surrounding states, i.e. Missouri, clearly eager to push that idea?

DIAL: Well, I certainly am.

And, you know, recruiting industry is one of the most competitive things in America. It’s worse than recruiting quarterbacks for your high school or college football team. And so we’re certainly concerned about this. And we have worked diligently in this state for 40 years to overcome some of the images that we have had.

And to see it certainly regress back to those images that are certainly not Alabama, that don’t portray the true and real Alabama certainly bothers all of us. So, we’re committed to making some changes so we can help to overcome those images.

BALDWIN: And just so I’m clear, sir, when you say make changes, we’re not talking repeal the law. You’re making tweaks. Is that correct?

DIAL: Well, we’re talking about some tweaks, but some major tweaks that we think will make this law more amenable to people of this state.

What we did, we overreached, and we — not only in trying to make sure we didn’t have illegal immigrants in this state. We also have penalized our own citizens who have lived here all their lives. All the hardships we placed on them are also hardships that we tried to place on illegal immigrants. And this was not the intention of this bill. It was not my intention.

And I made a mistake in voting on this bill as it is today, and I’m a person that will admit I made a mistake, and I’m committed to trying to correct those mistakes. And we’re working on those as you speak.

BALDWIN: All right. So, as you — you admit this mistake, how, then, do you craft legislation that would ensure your police officers don’t arrest more foreign executives whose firms provide jobs to the people of your state?

DIAL: Well, you know, that was a unique case and certainly one that probably could have been handled with a lot more compassion. But, you know, when with I go to Europe I have to have my passport to even check in a hotel.

So the individual should have certainly should have had identification with him. He made a mistake. I don’t know all the details, but he could have been a little more compassionate, say, send somebody to the room and get your passport and identify yourself.

We’ve put our law enforcement people in an awkward position of trying to enforce a law that’s not really that clear. I’ve met with the attorney general of this state, Luther Strange, last week. He has come forward with some suggestions in changing the bill, and some of these we’re going to encompass into a bill that we’re going to introduce early on in the session.

BALDWIN: So perhaps the toughest immigration law in the land may no longer be that way if you have a little something to do with it. We’ll stay on this, Alabama state senator Gerald Dial. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

DIAL: Thank you very much.

Scott Beason always defended Section 28, the “your paper’s, please” for school enrollment provision of HB56, as quite benign:

According to Beason and other supporters of the law, Alabama taxpayers deserve an accurate assessment of how much they pay to educate the children of illegal immigrants.

I disputed this claim and suggested that the purpose was much for ambitious.

So it is not really just about statistics and when AG Luther Strange argued before a federal court that: “No child will be denied an education based on unlawful status,” he should have added “not yet.

The real purpose of Section 28 was to enable “a fresh challenge to Plyler v. Doe, and the idea that schools are obligated to provide a free education to illegal immigrants.”

Well, Luther Strange, the ALGOP Alabama Attorney General, admitted as much yesterday in his belated call to significantly revise HB56.

Section 28, which has also been blocked by the Eleventh Circuit, allows collection of data about the number of undocumented immigrants or their children in Alabama schools and requires a report of the costs of educating those students — both in fiscal terms and the effect on the quality of education on other students — to the Legislature, but makes it clear that those students cannot be denied a public education. Some have speculated that the purpose of this endless data collection was to eventually mount a legal challenge to various federal government requirements regarding who deserves a public school education, and the attorney general’s letter lends some credence to that argument.

It is my understanding that the purpose of Section 28 was to collect data for future litigation involving the State,” Strange wrote. “As chief law officer for the State, my judgment is that the costs of gathering this data at this point in time, in terms of diversion of resources and the effect this section has had on the current litigation, far outweigh any need to gather data for future litigation.

Strange suggested that section should be repealed.

Remember when the ALGOP touted the October drop in unemployment as evidence that HB56 was working. I questioned then (1) could we extrapolate anything from a single metric and (2) if it proved that HB56 worked, then a lot more undocumented immigrants were employed in government and professional services than we thought.

If you listen to talk-radio, one sector which is evidently overrun with undocumented immigrants and should be impacted by HB56 is the construction. industry.  I am looking forward to Rep. Hammon, Sens. Beason and Sens. Taylor tout this report. According to the Birmingham Business Journal:

The Birmingham metro area was one of the 146 U.S. metros that lost construction jobs in October, according to a new report. . .

Statewide, Alabama lost 6,100 jobs in that same period, bringing construction employment down 7 percent to 81,900, AGCA said.

(Wink, wink: I am being a little facetious here. An isolated metric does not reveal much by itself and certainly does show a causal relationship. I still think cherry-picking a few metrics is poor economic analysis; however, if the GOP wants to play the game, so can I.)

From the Small Wars Journal:

Drug-cartel violence in Mexico escalated dramatically in 2010, with the violence reaching the highest levels since it broke out in 2006; as many as 15,000 people were killed as a result during the year. In 2010, northern states bordering the United States, where trafficking routes were concentrated, were most affected. While the violence has caused forced displacement, the government has not systematically collected figures to indicate its scale.

In 2010, most IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) originated from the states most affected by violence, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas. Surveys conducted by a research centre in Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua estimated that around 230,000 people had fled their homes. According to the survey’s findings, roughly half of them had crossed the border into the United States, with an estimated 115,000 people left internally displaced, predominantly in the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila and Veracruz.

This raises a future political a foreign policy problem:

Since 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels, there has been a rise in the number of Mexican nationals seeking political asylum in the United States to escape the ongoing drug cartel violence in their home country. Political asylum cases in general are claimed by those who are targeted for their political beliefs or ethnicity in countries that are repressive or are failing. Mexico is neither. Nonetheless, if the health of the Mexican state declines because criminal violence continues, increases, or spreads, U.S. communities will feel an even greater burden on their systems of public safety and public health from “narco-refugees.” Given the ever increasing cruelty of the cartels, the question is whether and how the U.S. Government should begin to prepare for what could be a new wave of migrants coming from Mexico.

Allowing Mexicans to claim asylum could potentially open a flood gate of migrants to the United States during a time when there is a very contentious national debate over U.S. immigration laws pertaining to illegal immigrants. On the other hand, to deny the claims of asylum seekers and return them to Mexico where they might very well be killed, strikes at the heart of American values of justice and humanitarianism.

What is the extent of this displacement?

Census taken in mid-2010 revealed that two-thirds of the homes in Praxedis G. Guerrero, a town east of Ciudad Juarez, have been abandoned, most likely due to the violence created from the wars between the Sinoloa and Juarez cartels in the area.

That’s about 116,000 homes.

Note to policy makers. Let’s crack down on real criminals, the cartels, and not good people who only want to live peaceably, raise their families, and worship freely.

Newt on the GOP and Immigration:

The party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt a policy that destroys families that have been here a quarter century … finding a way to create legality so they are not separated from their families.

UPDATE: Or try this:

I do not believe that the people of America will expel people who have been here 25 years.

Let’s be humane in enforcing the law.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. He proposed a path to legality a few weeks ago.

Gerald Dial on HB56:

And we were kind of caught in a box. We either vote for it or we vote against it. If we voted against it, it looked like we were supporting illegal immigrants into our state. So we voted for it. I made some mistakes and I’m going to try to correct those.