In a follow-up to our story Nov. 22, USAToday reports from Alabama a federal court struck down parts of Alabama’s HB 56 that forbids illegal immigrants from conducting any business transactions with the state, which would include manufactured housing permits. U.S. Judge Myron Thompson ruled illegal immigrants cannot be denied yearly MH permits, due Nov. 30, 2011, or the right to move their homes on public roads. Revenue Commissioner Joey Hastings said 20 percent of state MH applications had been denied in Marshall County, where Hispanics comprise a large number of poultry workers. “I don’t think you can consider yourself human if you didn’t feel for them,” Masters said. “But the way the law is written, we just don’t have any options.” Kim Hastie, Mobile County License Commissioner, said the law would have prevented the state from even receiving fines from those who could not prove their U.S. citizenship since that is a business transaction. Sponsors of the law say the intent was to drive illegal immigrants out of the state, but Mary Bauer, with the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the groups that sued the state, said, “There’s little doubt that this law was intended to drive Latinos out of the state, and that its effects have been to devastate the Latino community in Alabama.” Alabama has seen an increase of 100,000 Latinos from 2000 to 2010. The National Immigration Law Center’s Karen Tumlin said in light of the ruling, she will review the possibility of suing government agencies who deny heat and water services to those who cannot prove their citizenship.
(Photo credit: Linda Stelter/AP)