Interesting article at Colorlines yesterday about the situation in Alabama with HB 56, where "the country's toughest new immigration law sits in a state where there isn’t a problem to begin with."
As the delegation met undocumented residents and activists working with them, one thing that stood out was a broad climate of fear that will be familiar to those who lived through Alabama’s first Jim Crow era. Mary Bauer of the Southern Poverty Center spoke to us at the opening session of the delegation. She retold the story of someone who went to make a cash purchase at Walmart and was asked for identification. That isn’t in the HB-56 law. There isn’t any provision that you can’t make a cash purchase. But when the law of the land is prejudice, it creates vigilante immigration policing. People feel empowered to police anyone they think isn’t documented in any way they feel is reasonable.