BIRMINGHAM, AL - Following careful study of the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act (HB 56), members of the Birmingham Chapter of the National Jewish Democratic Council find HB 56 to be in conflict with America’s history of welcoming immigrants and offensive because of the unfounded fear reflected in its title. NJDC-Birmingham stands alongside the growing number of other religious and advocacy groups throughout Alabama who have protested this legislation and advocated for its repeal.
HB 56 was enacted on the premise that Alabama citizens and taxpayers need to be protected from people who have come to this country, perhaps with legal papers that have since expired, or without proper legal documents. The bill incorrectly presumes that taxpayers are assuming unfair tax burdens because illegal immigrants are using state and local services. Further, the bill is premised on the false allegation that Alabama jobs are being taken by illegal immigrants.
The bill’s clear intent is to make it impossible for non-citizens to obtain employment, find housing, go to church, seek medical attention or avail themselves of transportation. It criminalizes those who provide these services, as well. This bill targets breadwinners making it impossible for non-citizens to sustain a livelihood in the United States.
Chapter members see the experience of past generations of immigrants recurring with people who have recently immigrated to this country. The vast majority are family oriented individuals who seek to improve their lives and those of their children. Many are religiously observant and have affiliated themselves with local Christian churches in large numbers.
NJDC-Birmingham supports the actions of our Justice Department, the Bishops of Alabama’s Catholic, Methodist, and Episcopal Dioceses, The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center. We applaud them for their courageous opposition to this unjust legislation.