Alabama's GOP Agriculture Commissioner is worried that HB56 is encouraging farm laborers to leave the state. And is anyone surprised by that? Apparently, some of our state “leaders” are: they're concerned about the effect on Alabama businesses and local economies. Finally.
Now, McMillan said he's concerned that foreign workers — legal or not — are leaving the state before the law, which opponents have said will lead to racial profiling and harassment of Hispanics, goes into effect.
On recent visits to farms, he said he was told about families of agriculture workers moving because one member is illegal.
“They're all leaving,” he said, going to states such as Florida and South Carolina that don't have as stringent immigration laws. “And the timing is critical right now. Our growers are making decisions about ordering strawberry plants for next year. They are weighing spending $30,000 on plants when they don't know if they'll have the people to pick the berries.”
Oh, that's right. We don't give a damn if the law encourages racial profiling, splits up families, adds to the burden of the foster care system, or costs the state millions in legal fees as we fight the federal government.
But if we can't pick the strawberries… well damn… that's a crisis!
And it may be the only crisis that that will get the attention of our state legislature. They have no problems passing unconstitutional legislation; remember that our current governor sponsored anti-abortion legislation designed to challenge federal law when he was in the legislature….
Which will be more pressing to the GOP? Will they appease the business wing and protect cheap laborers who can't complain if they're treated unfairly or kowtow to the TEA Party? Anyone in Alabama loses either way they decide.