Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 15, 2011

Why Alabama’s Governor Signed The Illegal Immigration Law In Georgia

(There will always be court challenges because the states’ have infringed on the eminent domain of the federal government’s jurisdiction in regards to immigration and they don’t have the power or the authority to just “pick up” where the government left off.)

Alabama Governor on Why He Signed the Immigration Law

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was on WFPA 1400 this morning on the Danny Lee Show, a popular news-talk radio program out of Fort Payne. Last winter, the governor braved the cold weather and icy roads to travel up Lookout Mountain in DeKalb County where WFPA is located.

Unfortunately, the governor’s schedule wouldn’t permit the trip this time but he was gracious enough to take the time to answer questions over the phone.

Gov. Bentley started by saying that while it has been a very rough six months, he enjoys the job. “If you don’t enjoy your job, you shouldn’t be doing it,” he said.

Danny Lee, with WFPA manager Mike Wallace, touched on a number of subjects like the Legislative Session, Special Sessions, NASA, and more. Three topics of particular interest were tornado relief progress, unemployment, and the controversial Alabama immigration law.

Tornado relief across Alabama is actually going ahead of schedule, according to Bentley. While FEMA and state emergency agencies have helped, he said it is the locals who have really stepped up. It’s been only a little more than two months since April’s Fury ripped through the south, causing the most damage and fatalities in Alabama. Bentley says that around 65 percent to 75 percent of debris has already been cleaned up. People have their immediate needs taken care of and now it’s time to start long term recovery.

Unemployment in Alabama, according to the most recent data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, puts unemployment still at a high 9.6 percent despite the “official” end of the recession. It isn’t the worst in the nation but it’s far from being okay. Bentley noted that obviously it isn’t something that can be solved overnight and it is still a high priority of his.

He has taken steps to bring jobs to Alabama by introducing tax incentives to small business owners. For example, these businesses would get breaks for hiring new employees or offering health insurance to their employees. The governor has even traveled to Europe to talk with larger company owners in an effort to bring more industry and higher paying jobs to Alabama.

And last, Mike Wallace asked Bentley about what’s been on many Alabamians’ minds; the immigration law (portions of it will go into effect Sept. 1). Bentley said he believes in strong immigration reform simply because the federal authorities are not doing their job. And because they aren’t doing what they are supposed to, states have to take it upon themselves to pick up the slack.

It all boils down to the fact that no matter how sympathetic people are, illegal immigrants are just that — illegal. “They are breaking the law,” he said and it’s not something that can be ignored any longer. He admitted that many parts of the bill need clarifying.

Despite the confusion, though, he sent the bill through anyway because he was afraid if he sent it back for revision, it would have died before it came back to him. So far no one has challenged it in court but it’s still early.

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