Birmingham, AL- The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held its first hearing Friday to deliberate whether Alabama’s immigration law fosters discrimination and racial profiling.
Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, and author of Arizona’s controversial law S.B. 1070, which inspired Alabama’s immigration law spoke of the benefits, stating that the unemployment rate in the state dropped three times faster than the national average, according to CBS.
Anticipating the charge that state immigration laws could lead to racial profiling, Kobach reassured the commission that police are specifically instructed to avoid making stops or arrests based on appearance.
During Kobach’s testimony, disorder erupted as protestors holding up signs that said “Undocumented,” yelled at the panel before they were lead out of the room.
One man said, “These laws are based on hate.”
The states that have passed their own immigration laws have been forced to defend them amidst charges that they are not only unconstitutional but are also racially biased, disproportionately targeting Latinos.
Immigration laws in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Utah have been tied up federal court Judges have blocked numerous provisions within Alabama’s laws, but the “papers please” provision, which allows local law enforcement to inquire about a person’s legal status during an arrest or stop, has been largely upheld.
Within a few months, the commission will determine if these laws foster discrimination and violate civil rights. The commission however does not have enforcement power, but their findings could influence future laws.
Anyone found to be in the country illegally face detention and eventually deportation. Immigration attorneys can not only stop deportation, but they can help head of the problem in the first place by getting an immigrant the necessary visas or other legal documents that will allow them to live and work in the U.S.
Tags: Birmingham Al, Civil Rights Panel, Controversial Law, Deportation, Face Detention, Federal Court Judges, Immigrant, Immigration Attorneys, Immigration Law, Immigration Laws, Kansas Secretary Of State, Kobach, Legal Documents, Necessary Visas, One Man, Protestors, Racial Profiling, Secretary Of State, State Immigration, Unemployment Rate