Following the arrest of several high-profile, non-brown-skinned individuals under Alabama’s “Papers Please” immigration law, HB56, Governor Robert Bentley is pledging to work with the legislature to revise the law.
Don’t get your hopes up, though. The language being used to describe potential revisions of the law indicate the goal will be to make the law more
racially tinged specific.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala (Reuters) – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said on Friday he would work to revise the state’s tough new immigration law following embarrassing incidents where foreign workers were detained because they were not carrying sufficient identification.
Bentley, House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, said in a statement they do not plan to repeal or weaken the law, widely considered to be the toughest of its kind in the nation. […]
The three Republicans who issued Friday’s statement said they would work to tweak the law, which has generated unwanted headlines in recent weeks and hurt the state’s reputation with business.
The Justice Department has sued the state, saying the law represents an impermissible effort by state lawmakers to set immigration policy. The department civil rights division, meanwhile, has said the measure may also violate a number of federal civil rights laws.
The only way to “tweak” the law without repealing or weakening it would be to narrow the focus of the law to target specific individuals, ergo racially profile.
It’s no mystery that the original target of the law was intended to be Hispanic individuals anyway, but these revisions could make that uncomfortable fact more obvious and could lead to additional lawsuits against the state by the Justice Department and other civil rights organizations.
We haven’t seen the last of this epic blunder by the Alabama state government.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney said last night during the debate that “states can do whatever the heck they want.” I think the Justice Department, and the office of the presidency which he is running for, would disagree.