The Birmingham News (Opinion): The terrible Alabama immigration law remains a hot topic of conversation, and it probably will be until the law is repealed or thrown out by the federal courts. I'm betting on the federal courts over repeal; Legislative Republicans are unlikely to admit how wrong they were in passing HB56 to begin with -- despite the human and economic damage -- and their red-meat supporters are comfortable with making life miserable for people who are different from them.
So discussion will continue, as it did Tuesday during our weekly live chat. Many people argue that we are a nation of laws, and we must follow the law. I understand that argument. But the philosophy can be followed to a fault. I'm more in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. branch of thinking: that we have a moral obligation to disobey unjust laws.
I think reader CMcV is of the same thinking: "A thought about 'legal': At one point in time slavery was legal, segregation was legal, denying women the vote was legal, polluting at will was legal. None of those laws changed because of the goodness of heart of the aging white males who control the country. What's the best way to activate the rest of the state to get this thing repealled? Can a Birmingham News guy recommend a good social medium?"
There are forums on Facebook. Search for "repeal HB56." And the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice can also point you in the direction to help. Nationally, America's Voice is working to education people about Alabama's cruel immigration law. And you can always bug your state representative, state senator and Gov. Robert Bentley, who clearly does not want this law to become his legacy. Unless he helps repeal this lousy law he enthusiastically signed, he's probably stuck as being Alabama's 21st century's George Wallace and not much else.
Another reader, Kingsly, took me to task and, frankly, assumes I have a lot more "authority" than I have. After a discussion of the negative impacts of the cruddy immigration law, Kingsly said: "Joey, you are trying to manipulate these laws to make them sound wrong."
I responded that I wasn't trying to manipulate the laws to "sound wrong. I'm saying they are wrong."
All we need, folks, is E-Verify, the federal system to check immigration status. But that's not cruel enough to these people who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. What fun is an Alabama hate law if it's not cruel, especially to a minority?
So, what do you think?