If only the Alabama law was legalized in the other 49 states (for Obama it is 56 states), Americans would see less of a strain to the economy. The illegal aliens are sucking up our resources and the American people are paying for it.
(Reuters) - A climate of fear and panic has taken hold in Alabama's immigrant community since a federal judge let stand much of the nation's toughest state crackdown on illegal immigration, advocates say.
Farm laborers have picked up their checks and headed out of town. Parents have pulled their children out of school or put in place emergency plans for their care should the parents be detained or deported for lacking proof of citizenship.
"People are just taking off without knowing where they are going," said Rosa Toussaint-Ortiz, co-chairwoman of the Hispanic/Latino Advisory Committee in Huntsville.
"They even own houses and are abandoning them. They are leaving their stuff behind."
Just how many immigrants are fleeing the state is unclear. The departures began soon after the law passed earlier this year, and advocates, educators and employers say they have seen an uptick since a September 28 court order that put into effect many of the challenged provisions.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn ruled that Alabama could authorize police to detain people suspected of being in the country illegally if they cannot produce proper documentation when stopped for any reason.
The judge also upheld provisions requiring public schools to determine the legal residency of children upon enrollment and barring illegal immigrants from getting a driver's license or business license.
Lawmakers who backed the anti-illegal immigration measure, passed by large margins in both chambers of the Republican-led legislature, aren't surprised by the anecdotal evidence of its effect.
"The purpose of it was to cut back on the number of illegal immigrants that we have in Alabama, and obviously the law is doing that," said Republican Representative Mike Ball of Huntsville.