The immigration law passed in Alabama last week is meant to make it far more difficult for illegal immigrants to live in the state. Should it take effect on September 1, they'll find it harder to find jobs, rent apartments, obtain medical care, enroll in college, interact with police, or even to get a ride across town.
Think of a man, here on a work visa, who is dating an illegal immigrant woman -- that is to say, someone whose parents brought her to this country when she was 7, and has lived in the United States for the last 20 years. Under this law, it is illegal for that man to drive his girlfriend to a doctor's appointment!
It isn't a crime to knowingly transport someone who smokes marijuana, or cheats on his taxes, or regularly drives drunk, or pirates Hollywood movies. Does it really make sense to criminalize the mere transport of an illegal immigrant?
These are awful choices to force on people. When legislation results in law-abiding citizens having pangs of conscience, odds are the law is a bad one.
You can read the rest of the story here in which the author correctly asserts:
The Alabama immigration law is an attempt to embed immigration enforcement into every aspect of daily life. The inevitable result: a state bureaucracy that is suddenly omnipresent in daily life!
Which is precisely the problem in this country. So many laws about everything have created a black markets in nearly everything. Almost all of us break some law on any given day, many of us without even being aware of doing so. Where does it end?
This reminds me of a story I saw in the news last week where a Massachusetts lawmaker stated that undocumented immigrant rape victims should be afraid to report their rape to police. He's back-pedaling now, of course, but I really think this is exactly how many in the anti-immigrant community feel. Is this really the kind of world we want to live in? Do we really want to encourage our government to violate individual rights more so than it already does? Do we really want to turn against each other and make an enemy out of everyone else rather than live and trade peacefully with each other?
(H/T to Paul Hsieh for linking us to The Atlantic article.)