I counted 63 uses of the word “alien” in House Bill 56. Obviously, the sponsors of this bill are very concerned with those who are not like us. Is the object of their concern space aliens, little green men or what?
Turns out, it's undocumented workers that worry them so much. Their bill imposes stiff penalties on anyone who is caught in Alabama without documents, also stiff penalties on anyone who transports such workers or who fails to take them to the appropriate facility when found — not so much for hiring the objects of their concern, though.
Legal jargon is not my forte, so maybe I have this wrong, but it looks like section “g” has the potential to cost the state a bundle in legal and other fees:
A person may bring an action in circuit court to challenge any official or agency of this state that adopts or implements a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. If there is a judicial finding that an entity has violated this section, the court shall order any of the following:
(1) That the person who brought the action recover court costs and attorney fees.
(2) That the entity pay a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each day that the policy has remained in effect after the filing of an action pursuant to this subsection.
I also noticed there are stiff penalties for the undocumented workers, anyone who helps transport them in any way and entities that fail to enforce the law “to the full extent,” but I did not find any meaningful penalties — fines or jail time — for employers who hire undocumented workers. The full text of the bill as introduced can be viewed below the fold. Y'all correct me if I'm wrong about that point, but as long as the proposed legislation doesn't seriously penalize the employers — and I mean hit them in the pocketbook, 'cause that's where they live — it's a joke in terms of actually reducing the number of undocumented workers.