Since Alabama passed a law last June cracking down on illegal immigration, special interest groups and the Obama Justice Department have misrepresented facts about the law, trying to stir up fear and anger.

There’s a good reason why they are engaged in this fear-mongering campaign: it difficult to convince reasonable Americans that it is somehow unfair to require proof of legal residency from those wishing to receive public benefits, or that that it is somehow discriminatory to require employers to hire only legal, documented workers.

What they won’t admit is that our law’s most controversial provisions are virtually identical to federal law. Before Alabama did anything to crack down on illegal immigration, federal law already:

  • penalized employers for hiring undocumented workers;
  • required non-citizens to carry documentation; and
  • prohibited conduct that aids and abets federal immigration violations.

In Alabama, we believe obedience to the law ensures fairness and protects the rights of everybody.

That’s why it is so disappointing that the federal government, particularly the Obama Administration, has discouraged fairness and endangered the rights of Americans by refusing to enforce federal law and deal with the nation’s serious illegal immigration problem.

In the face of national security threats, an explosion of drug and gun trafficking across our borders, budgets strained to the brink in part by the increased cost of state services to illegal aliens, and endemic unemployment for legal residents, the Obama Administration and Congress have failed to address our broken immigration system.

It is past time to secure this country’s borders and build an immigration system that works. Until the President and Congress get serious and take action, more states will join Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, South Carolina, Utah, and others to take it upon themselves to ensure that the current law is enforced. That’s why we took action to essentially enforce, as a state, what is current, inconsistently-enforced federal immigration law.

The law we passed:

  • protects Alabama jobs by requiring businesses to verify the legal status of their workers, ensuring that illegal immigrant labor cannot take jobs away from Alabama citizens looking for work; and
  • protects Alabama taxpayers by requiring that only legal residents of this country can take advantage of state-funded services.  With social services such as Medicaid already bursting at the seams, we must save those precious resources for legal, tax-paying residents of Alabama.

We certainly want to ensure that our immigration law works and is enforceable, helping us protect Alabama jobs while not hindering the private sector from growing our economy.

Therefore, in the current legislative session, lawmakers will make our immigration law better by:

  • seeking to help state and local authorities comply with and enforce the immigration law, ensuring more effective and less burdensome application of the law;
  • working with Alabama industries to ensure smooth implementation of the law. We all want a positive, but legal, work environment.

We will not:

  • repeal or weaken the law and allow Alabama to be a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants by tolerating their presence and permitting them to access state services;
  • allow jobs to go to those who are in our state illegally. Simply put, Alabama jobs are for Alabama residents.

Alabama wants a positive work environment, and we welcome legal residents to be a part of it.  We can have a thriving business environment that rivals any in the world while also shutting off the magnet drawing illegal immigrants to our state.

Representative Mike Hill was elected in 1986. He was born on March 3, 1949, received his B.S. Degree from Auburn University, attended the School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University, and Commercial Lending School from Oklahoma State University. Representative Hill and his wife, Carol, who is a retired public school teacher, are the parents of three children, Hayden Jeffries, Hunter, and Jon Michael who is deceased. They also have three grandchildren.

Representative Hill is a Deacon of the First Baptist Church of Columbiana. In addition, he is a past member of the State Board of Directors for the Alabama Easter Seals, a past member of the Board of Directors for the Birmingham Occupational Rehabilitation Center, and is a life member of the Columbiana Kiwanis Club.