Text of presentation at SB 256 Public Hearing

Senate Bill 256 section two opens with this statement, “The state of Alabama finds that illegal immigration is causing economic hardship and lawlessness in this state.” I would like to know on what evidence does the state of Alabama make this assumption.

Here are the facts, The Congressional Budget Office in 2007 determined, “Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use.”  This does not indicate economic hardship.   The law advocacy group, Alabama Appleseed, found data that stated that immigrants in Alabama account for 4.9 Billion dollars in state revenue in 2009.  This also does not indicate economic hardship.

So what about lawlessness.  Since 1980 both violent and property crime rates have dropped nationwide according to the US Census Bureau.  But let’s look more closely at Alabama with data from the FBI. In 1980, Murder rates were at 13.2 per 100,000 and in 2009, 6.9 per 100,000.  Rape, robbery, aggravated assault remained roughly the same between 1980 and 2009.

What about the numbers of immigrants nationwide—in 1980 1-16 people was an immigrant, in 1990, 1-13 and in 2007 1-8 were immigrants. This data is from Center for Immigration Studies.   In Alabama, we know that according to the US census, the immigration population in 1990 was 1.1%.  It grew to 2% in 2000 and to 4% in 2010.  So if immigrants were indeed causing an increase in lawlessness, then their increasing numbers might be found to correlate with an increasing number of crimes but this is not the case.  What does show a possible correlation to crime rates is the increase of the poverty rate in Alabama from 14.6% in 2000 and 16.6% in 2010.

The State of Alabama has not proven its case that immigrants, documented or undocumented are causing either economic hardship or increased lawlessness.  What the state of Alabama has proved by this bill is that it is scapegoating the economic woes of Alabama on the backs of immigrants instead of addressing the real cause of its problems which is a corrupt tax code that deliberately privileges corporations and the wealthy and over burdens the working class and poor.

The result of this will be economic suicide.  Alabama may succeed to drive out our immigrant population because of the racial profiling and harassment that will ensue resulting in all of our businesses losing the 4.9 Billion dollars in revenue this group of hard working, decent people contribute annually.

You were elected to create jobs so that Alabama can thrive but this hardhearted, and dare I say, arrogant bill will instead destroy Alabama.  Do not go down this immoral and unjust path, Alabama’s people deserve better from you. You are better than this.




  1. I am a citizen and my parents are citizens illegal is illegal and every time a illegal alien crosses our boarder and comes to Alabama then they go to a hospital or to our taxpayer citizen funded schools they cost we the people money, they break our laws they drive with no drivers license our police pull them over have their cars towed and leave the law breaking illegal alien on the side of the road, but yet if a citizen breaks the law we go to jail, the law is the law and illegals are by law suppose to be deported back to what ever nation they came from.
    the illegals cannot speak English or read it, they cause car accidents due to this issue and the American citizen is left with personal and property damages and no way to get reimbursed. our schools are full of illegals that cannot speak English along with their parents and you wonder what’s wrong with our schools come on. it is time to see the light our nation has over 14 million illegals that work under the table for 10.00 hr in hoover then they draw food stamps, health care, housing and a free education
    it is time to enforce our state and national sovereignty. Our constitution mandates that our nation and it’s citizen be secure from invasion and 14 million illegals is a invasion. deport and deport now

    • Couple of things you are missing my dear:
      Here we go:

      1. Illegals like you called them, even though they are normal people like you and I in the eyes of God, they don’t just go to hospitals and get free health care! In what world do you live honey? Illegals don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

      2. You probably don’t know this, but Illegals pay taxes to fund schools too! Oh my Gosh I am sure that’s shocking for you, but when they go to Walmart they pay the same sales taxes, when they buy property they pay property taxes, when they get vehicles tags (even though they don’t have driver’s license) they pay taxes, and most of them work with a fake social security number and guess what they get cut in they paycheck for Fed. Tax, Medicare, Social Security, and State tax too, just like you do!

      3. I can speak, read, and understand English probably better than you do dear, and I am Illegal, so please don’t generalize. Car accidents happen to any American too and they can certainly read.

      4.I am illegal but I have my car insurance so when I meet lovely ladies like you I can quiet them down.

      5. I was in school once too, yes and I did not speak English at the beginning and guess what? I graduated in top of my class. Got a 30 in my ACT and now (thank God) I’m in college majoring in Chemical Engineering and I have a 4.0 GPA.

      6. $10 dollar/hr, that’s actually not bad for me personally considering that I am a college student. fast food restaurants pay less than this.

      7.If you deport now all of them, honey then Alabama’s economy will collapse. Business would go down, and please don’t tell me than an Illegal that doesn’t read( like you said) or that barely finished elementary school is a competition for you at the job market (unless you are a lost case)

      There is one reality and you and everyone knows it, either way deporting all or legalizing would be difficult. But why in heck would you not want to legalize a hard worker, and make him pay taxes (which he already is) and get from him all the potential.

  2. Hello Rev. Hammond. I’m happy to find you and I think your presentation is excellent and most courageous.

    I want to tell you that I am married and 50 years old, a lifelong Republican, and a Lutheran (Missouri Synod). I support your views and agree with about 90% of what you’ve written on SB56. My main disagreement with you is what you state as the *real* cause of economic distress — i.e., the “corrupt tax code” favoring wealthy citizens and corporations. Which is not to say that our entire tax code is not an utter mess. I think the current federal and state tax codes should be thrown out completely, simplified to about 3 pages, and flattened. But we can talk more about that at a later date : )

    One thing we certainly agree about, no matter how screwed up the tax code, illegal immigrants are contributing huge dollars via our most obnoxious retail taxes, among other ways.

    In addition, your points about crime and “lawlessness” are right on target — and if anything, conservative.

    One stray thing I wanted to bring to your attention. You referenced Center for Imm Studies (CIS) on a neutral data point. But you do know that CIS is a John Tanton founded org., right?

    My time is limited right now but I wanted to let you know you have a Republican friend in this endeavor. I am waiting for call backs from my reps. and would like to get more involved. Please contact me by email if you like. And thanks again for your efforts and wisdom.

    SV in Birmingham

    P.S. We went to mass at St. Mark Catholic church last weekend and found a very interesting letter in our bulletins, signed by the Archbishop of Mobile and the Bishop of B’ham. It reads, in part:

    “The Alabama Legislature is debating legislation that will affect immigrants in the state of Alabama. If passed and implemented these laws will change the way immigrants interact not only with law enforcement but also with their neighbors.

    “In our opinion these laws in their current form are not consistent with the founding principles of the U.S. or with our Constitution. They interfere with the free exercise of religion as guaranteed in the First Amendment, in particular by criminalizing our Gospel imperative of serving the poor. Worse, they create an atmosphere of fear and suspicion that runs counter to our traditional understanding of hospitality.”

    Thank you for your comments. I am not sure the Senators were as astute as you were in recognizing that my sources for data were from folks who are proponents of this type of legislation. My thinking was that they wouldn’t believe data from neutral or progressive sources so I used theirs. If their own data doesn’t back up their claims then shouldn’t that be saying something about the actions they are taking? Apparently not.

  3. It’s amazing how quickly people forget that we are all God’s creatures.

    Thanks for the well-reasoned and compassionate argument. Your account of the hearing has done nothing to restore my faith in our state government, but my faith in mankind has had a bit of an upswing.

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