Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Alabama Not Waiting On Illegal Solution; Ready to Lead on Its Own

API recommendation passes Alabama Legislature; By Alabama Policy Institute (API); June 12, 2007.

BIRMINGHAM, AL: A key recommendation by the Alabama Policy Institute (API) to address illegal immigration in Alabama passed on the final day of the 2007 regular session.

Senate Joint Resolution 22 convenes the Joint Interim Patriotic Immigration Commission to conduct a fact-finding study on immigration issues and will recommend a series of specific legislative and executive branch actions to address the influx of illegal immigrants in Alabama. The Commission is expected to issue its report by the beginning of the next legislative session in 2008.

"We commend Senator Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) for his absolute commitment to get this bill passed," said Michael Ciamarra, vice president of API and author of the legislation. "We knew a scatter-shot approach of introducing bills here and there with no coherent plan was doomed to fail. We believe the commission approach is inclusive of all stakeholders and can develop thoughtful, clear proposals that all can agree on before the next legislative session begins."

API's recent paper "Proposal to Bring Clarity and A Way Forward to Address Immigration in Alabama" recommended a commission to make sure the right questions are asked, to determine what can work legally, and to promote a logical set of solutions that will result in a rational state immigration policy acceptable to Alabamians.

"Due to deep divisions about amnesty and other provisions of a White House-backed bill, the U.S. Senate failed to address illegal immigration. It is imperative that states come forth with proposals that work and are Constitutional," said Ciamarra. Ciamarra and Senator Beason believe that the Alabama Patriotic Immigration Commission will be a model other states will follow.

Comment: Without going into Alabama’s plan to address the illegal immigration problem, the point I want to stress is that Alabama is not waiting for the national government to act. Ohio lawmakers should take notice and begin to hold hearings to address our problem and how best to advance a solution. Likewise, by opening hearings on this issue will bring more attention on the debacle and double-dealings taking place behind the scenes in DC. Our state legislators need to hold our federal representatives in Congress, especially our two Senators, accountable for their votes and tact they are taking concerning illegal immigration.

Rather than getting into some behind the scenes pact with Bush, Voinovich and Brown should be protecting Ohio’s interest. And this is problem; our Senators don’t pay attention to the interests of our states; they look out for their own self interest and the interests of the specials interest groups pulling the strings and funding their re-elections. So if our state general assembly wants to do something truly statesman-like they should begin to address the illegal immigration situation before it’s too late; because if Bush and Kennedy have their way, this country is screwed. We need to start thinking Ohio first.

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