I'm still fuming at our lead developer Jay for suggesting I listen to the most recent episode of This American Life. Titled "Reap What You Sow" the show is mostly devoted to a devastating piece by reporter Jack Hitt on the impact of Alabama's immigration bill, HB56.
It's horrible. Don't listen to it. It nearly had me in tears.
Okay, listen to it. It's important. Hear how hispanic schoolchildren are being heckled into moving to the back of the room during assemblies. Hear how immigrants are literally afraid to go to the grocery store.
The worst part is that this legislation isn't coming about because Alabama has a problem with undocumented immigrants. Alabama actually has a very small population of undocumented immigrants compared to states like Arizona. These ideas are coming from outside the state, from national GOP operatives who draft the legislation while hunting turkeys in Kansas, working out the kinks so these laws will get past the courts, and then advising the Republicans running for president how to push this issue.
The man responsible for the Alabama law is Kris Kobach, currently the Secretary of State of Kansas. Hitt reports that Kris' revelation about the immigration issue came... wait for it... right after 9/11, when he heard that "5 of the 19 hijackers were in the country illegally, and 4 of those 5 had traffic violations while they were illegally in the country."
His shockingly bad logic is that if the police officers who stopped these men had been able to act as immigration agents, PRESTO!, no 9/11. Because, as we all know, the hijackers did no research and had no idea what our law enforcement practices were, and had they been thwarted by the impenetrable shield created by empowering everyone to legally harass immigrants, they would have given up on their plans, decided to love America, and nobody would ever ever die again.