The beginning of Alabama’s economic expansion began with the removal of the Confederate flag from the Alabama Capitol. Now, as Alabama’s dark civil rights history repeats itself through the state's recent anti-immigrant laws, why aren’t companies that have benefited so much from Alabama labor standing up against racism that targets immigrant families?
Car companies chose Alabama for manufacturing operations because of the promise of a positive business climate and a good labor market. But Alabama’s draconian anti-immigration law, H.B. 56, has been an unmitigated disaster.
The law has legitimized racial profiling, terrorized persons of color regardless of their legal status, frightened children, entrapped foreigners, and damaged Alabama’s state economy. And as the cost to Alabama’s economy continues to increase, as workers continue to flee the state, automobile manufacturers are doing nothing.
Since the bill was passed, a German Mercedes-Benz manager and a Japanese Honda manager faced charges for not “carrying their papers.” Daimler AG, Honda, and Hyundai Motor Company are all major foreign-owned businesses operating in Alabama and know firsthand the destructive and demeaning menace of H.B. 56.
Hateful laws like this aren't good for our Alabama, and they certainly aren’t good for business -- and we need business leaders to make sure lawmakers know it. Urge them to call for the immediate repeal of H.B. 56.
But with the passing of Alabama's H.B. 56, each one of these promises has been broken. The law has legitimized racial profiling, terrorized persons of color regardless of their legal status, frightened children, entrapped foreigners, and damaged Alabama’s economic and social standing.
Why aren’t you outraged by H.B. 56?
H.B. 56 could cost the state as much as $10.8 billion in economic output and up to $357 million in state and local tax revenue. It is a setback for Alabama and for civil rights worldwide, and is reminiscent of the darkest periods of hate and persecution in our history. How is this good business?
It is time to repeal H.B. 56, for the sake of Alabama's economy, residents, and anyone doing business there. Please – urge Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, House Speaker Mike Hubbard and other legislative leaders to repeal H.B. 56.