The decision of federal judge Sharon Blackburn allowing several sections of Alabama's controversial immigration law to go into effect has two WorldNetDaily contributors celebrating and comparing opponents of the law to Civil War-era slave owners who opposed emancipation.
The Alabama law, H.B. 56, is a draconian law and Blackburn refused to allow some of the provisions to go into effect, such as the provisions making it a crime for an undocumented immigrant to apply for or perform work, making it a crime to conceal or harbor an undocumented immigrant, and barring employers from failing to hire a U.S. citizen while employing an undocumented worker.
But it does allow certain provisions to go into effect, including ones that were struck down in Arizona that require immigrants to carry immigration papers and require law enforcement officers to determine the citizenship of any person they stop when they suspect the person is here illegally and one that forbids Alabama courts from enforcing most contracts entered into by undocumented immigrants.
The decision is being cheered by WorldNetDaily contributors Gina Loudon and Dathan Paterno. In a column headlined “American patriots: Stand with Alabama!” Loudon and Paterno call for a “Buycott” of Arizona products in celebration of the “strictest-in-the country illegal immigration law” which is causing “illegals [to] fle[e] the state in droves.”
Transitioning from a pre-Civil War economy supported by slave labor to a truly free-market economy must have been challenging. Consider the Southern plantation owner. With his workforce suddenly gone, how would he get the cotton out of the fields? It is easy to imagine the cries from the Democrats who fought Republican-led abolition: “How dare they take my slaves away! The crops will rot in the fields!”
With the recent passing of Alabama's strictest-in-the-country illegal immigration law, illegals are fleeing the state in droves. Although the law has yet to go into effect, Alabama's economy has already reaped significant benefits. Like the days following emancipation and other crucial reforms, a tough transition is inevitable.
What is the solution to the problem the left claims the farmers face? The liberal solution: Expose the borders, neglect or outright refuse to enforce federal immigration law and cripple Alabama's sovereignty by overturning her laws. The conservative solution: Allow markets the free rein to dictate wages for field and other farm workers. The guest worker program will be helpful, but the economy will work itself out for the farmers, if allowed the freedom to do so.
America has a way of righting wrongs like this one, when confronted. While the left aims its peashooters at the Alabama economy, attempting to frighten the state into submission, her defenders must protect and counterattack with means more potent and wise. I, along with the support of several groups of Alabama patriots, have launched a “BUYcott” of the State of Alabama.
Loudon and Paterno also accuse progressives of trying to reap the benefits of slave labor from undocumented workers:
The moment the bill passed, the left opened up the tattered, old, yet trusty playbook and began punishing Alabama by assigning it their dreaded black sheep status. They then warned Alabama farmers that no citizen would stoop to harvest their crops. With their cheap workforce slipping away, what would they do? The cries of the left echo those heard almost 150 years ago. One can imagine the melodramatic old scare tactic: “Our slaves are gone ... our crops will rot in the fields!”
Opponents are trying to brand those who support the rule of law as racists. Logic does not allow that charge to stick. The leftists spew the rhetoric that farmers can't find Americans who will do the jobs that illegals do; that somehow Hispanic people are different in that they will do dirtier, more labor-intensive work. But it isn't the color of their skin that makes them better suited for those jobs, it is the fact that those are the only jobs they can get. Few illegals will ever become white-collar workers or start a small business. They would run into many obstacles, including an inability to start a bank account or get a loan without identification. That is, unless they steal an identity. When opponents of the immigration law tell us that brown people are just better suited for this type of work than whites, they reveal themselves as the true racists.
The Democratic Party playbook spans over two centuries; they turn to the bookmarked pages utilized since the Civil War. The South, they claim, will be ruined by evil Republicans (a redundancy in their playbook) and their crazy central idea that because all humans are equal in the eyes of God, all deserve liberty. But the leftists today who strive for greater numbers of illegals in the fields carry the same tainted baton as those who just a few generations ago believed black people belonged in those fields. And they call the tea party racist?
But Loudon and Paterno should be more careful with their slavery charges. As I mentioned earlier, one of the provisions of the Alabama law that is now going into effect essentially nullifies most contracts entered into by an undocumented workers. Section 27 of HB 56 reads:
Section 27. (a) No court of this state shall enforce the terms of, or otherwise regard as valid, any contract between a party and an alien unlawfully present in the United States, if the party had direct or constructive knowledge that the alien was unlawfully present in the United States at the time the contract was entered into, and the performance of the contract required the alien to remain unlawfully present in the United States for more than 24 hours after the time the contract was entered into or performance could not reasonably be expected to occur without such remaining.
(b) This section shall not apply to a contract for lodging for one night, a contract for the purchase of food to be consumed by the alien, a contract for medical services, or a contract for transportation of the alien that is intended to facilitate the alien's return to his or her country of origin.
(c) This section shall not apply to a contract authorized by federal law.
Let's take a scenario: An Alabama employer is tipped off that there is an undocumented immigrant looking for work. The employer says “work for me for a week and I'll pay you at the end of the job.” At the end of the job, the immigrant asks for the wages. The employer refuses to pay. And the worker can't do anything about it. That's because the oral agreement between the worker and the employer is a contract, which now can't be enforced by Alabama courts. I.e., the employer in this scenario would essentially benefit from slave labor.
Luckily, such a result likely won't occur because the 13th Amendment to the Constitution outlaws slavery.
One more thought: Loudon and Paterno should not be so quick to celebrate. After all, Alabama's law was partially modeled on Arizona's SB 1070, and two courts have questioned the constitutionality of major portions of SB 1070.
In her opinion in United States v. Arizona, which granted a preliminary injunction against sections of the law, Judge Susan Bolton found that the section of the law requiring law enforcement to check the immigration status of certain people they detained is likely unconstitutional. Bolton pointed out that the federal government had described several categories of lawfully present non-U.S. citizens who would not have sufficient “readily available documentation” to satisfy Arizona law enforcement that they are legally present in the country. Those categories include people from visa-waiver countries, people who have applied for asylum but have not had their cases heard, and people who applied for protection from domestic abusers under the Violence Against Women Act.
Bolton's preliminary injunction against Arizona's immigration law was also upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. And Ninth Circuit Judge John Noonan, a Reagan appointee joined in that decision and wrote a separate opinion “to emphasize the intent of the statute and its incompatibility with federal foreign policy.”
And another similar law passed in Georgia was blocked by a different federal court.
To sum up, before they start comparing immigrant rights advocates to slave owners, Loudon and Paterno should take a closer look at the types of laws they are supporting. And before they do a victory lap over the Alabama decision, they should take a closer look at what most judges who have weighed in on the subject have said.