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Public Statements

Issue Position: Immigration Reform

Issue Position

By:
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o I will support our workforce by creating an environment that is unwelcoming to illegal immigrants because they undercut the wages of Alabama workers;

o I will seek a legal presumption that all illegal aliens are flight risks for bail purposes.

o I will seek a legislative end to sanctuary cities in Alabama;

o I will assist business, industry, and agriculture interests to obtain legal workers by supporting the use of E-Verify among all private employers in Alabama;

o I will require all governmental agencies to participate in E-Verify;

o I will require state contractors to participate in E- Verify in order to qualify for state contracts;

o I will fine businesses that knowingly employ illegal aliens;

o Deny illegal immigrants public benefits such as Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance, public or assisted housing benefits, food assistance, and commercial licenses.

o I will seek to enact state-level crimes against identity theft and voter fraud.

o I will train law enforcement officials on immigration laws and ensure state officials turn over all illegal aliens arrested in Alabama to the federal government.

GENERAL POSITION

Our nation was founded by legal immigrants seeking freedom and a new way of life, and I support those who legally seek to immigrate to Alabama to find a better life. However, we must end the influx of illegal aliens. As Governor and Chief Executive of the State of Alabama, I will uphold my sworn duty to enforce the laws of Alabama including those affecting persons residing and working in Alabama who are violating of our state and national laws.

The recent surge in illegal aliens to Alabama has helped foreign drug cartels expand, brought human trafficking to Alabama, and increased crime rates in other areas as well. Illegal immigration is straining our education, health care, and law enforcement budgets and infrastructure. There is also evidence that illegal immigration results in lower wages for authorized U.S. workers. To address these issues, I will train law enforcement officials in immigration laws and Spanish, and I will turn over all illegal aliens to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. I also will seek a legislative end to sanctuary cities in Alabama.

The Problem for Alabama

Illegal immigration is one of the most pressing problems facing the America and Alabama. In recent years, Alabamians have faced many new problems associated with our massive influx of illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration to Alabama has caused these problems:
o Gang violence and illicit drug smuggling;
o Document, identification, and insurance fraud;
o Human trafficking, forced labor, forced prostitution, and various other human rights violations.

None of these activities are acceptable, and these scourges are not home grown. Removing incentives for illegal immigration will help reduce these problems.

Eliminating Incentives for Illegal Immigration to Alabama

Removing the "job magnet" and denying public benefits to illegal aliens are the easiest ways to remove incentives for those illegal immigrants who want to move to Alabama. My administration also will work with the legislatire to deny privileges such as driver's licenses and resident tuition rates to illegal immigrants.

Alabama must prohibit employers from hiring unauthorized aliens. This is easily accomplished through the use of the E-Verify system. E-Verify is an online federal database that allows employers to check whether a worker's name and Social Security number are valid, and that the individual is authorized to work in our country. It is administered jointly by the Social Security Administration and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), a part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The two agencies continually add new enhancements to make the system quicker, more effective, and easier to use. The database instantly confirms the citizenship status of naturalized U.S. citizens seeking employment with participating firms. E-Verify is 99.63% accurate, according to an external audit for (DHS). Over 96% of all employee verifications are confirmed in the first 24 hours, resulting in 3.5% of screened employees revealed as not authorized to work in the United States.

According to the Federation of American Immigration Reform, "Requiring employers to verify the identity and legal work status of their employees will reverse the trend in erosion of wages and working conditions in job sectors and areas of the country where there are large populations of illegal immigrant workers. It will assure employers a legal workforce, attract American workers to those jobs, raise their income and reduce their reliance on public assistance programs."

Steps Alabama Can Take Proactively to Reduce Illegal Immigration

Cities, counties, and states have the opportunity to work cooperatively with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding under section 287 (g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This MOU would allow officers at different levels of government to deputize their respective law enforcement officers to perform, "the function(s) of an immigration officer. Cooperation with ICE allows local and state officers:
o Needed resources and authority to pursue investigations relating to violent crimes, human smuggling, gang/organized crime activity, sexual-related offenses, narcotics smuggling and money laundering
o Increased resources and support in more remote geographical locations.

According to Professor Kris Kobach, "Section 287(g) encompasses the full spectrum of enforcement powers, including not only the power to arrest and transfer, but also the power to investigate immigration violations, the power to collect evidence and assemble an immigration case for prosecution or removal, the power to take custody of aliens on behalf of the federal government, and other general powers involved in the routine enforcement of immigration laws."

I will encourage all Alabama cities and counties to enter into these MOUs.

The Alabama Taxpayer & Citizen Protection Act

In 2008, Senator Scott Beason of Gardendale, Alabama proposed Senate Bill 426, entitled "The Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2008." As Governor, I will support efforts to enact this legislation. The law was aimed to counter the civil, criminal, and fiscal problems related to illegal immigration. It would:

1. Make it a crime for a person to transport, conceal, harbor, or in any way protect illegal aliens from detection from state or federal authorities;

2. Empower and authorize law enforcement officials to cooperate with local, state, and federal agencies to quicken the enforcement of immigration laws;

3. Prohibit the practice of establishing the unwritten order of "sanctuary cities;"

4. Restrict the eligibility requirements for taxpayer-funded benefits such as scholarships, social services, financial aid, and resident tuition only to lawfully present aliens and US citizens, not illegal immigrants;

5. Require law enforcement to arrest and transport a person to jail if an officer stops a person who is driving without a license and the respective law officer cannot verify the person has a valid license. This will eliminate the multiple stops of individuals who sign the ticket and drive off, only to be stopped again using another name;

6. Create and regulate an identification system to authenticate legal workers in Alabama and provide Alabama employers a simple method to ascertain the legal status of employees;

7. Require all employers to verify proof of legal status of all employees, and penalize companies who knowingly or unknowingly hire illegal immigrants

8. Make it a discriminatory practice for an employer to discharge a US citizen while keeping an alien employee that he knows or should know is here illegally.


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