I. Impact of the Beason-Hammon Act on Access to Everyday Necessities
II. Denial of Equal Protection of the Law
III. Discriminatory Harassment and Abuse
IV. Impact of the Beason-Hammon Act on Children
This 52-page report documents the effect of the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer Citizen and Protection Act, commonly known as HB 56, on unauthorized immigrants and their families, as well as the larger Alabama communities in which they live. It is based in part on first-hand accounts by 57 Alabama residents, including citizens and permanent residents, who reported abuse or discrimination under the law.--Publisher description.
"The sponsors of Alabama's new immigrant law, widely known as HB 56, intended to make life difficult for unauthorized immigrants in Alabama. As the bill's co-sponsor State Rep. Mickey Hammon stated during debate, "[HB 56] attacks every aspect of an illegal alien's life ... This bill is designed to make it difficult for them to live here so they will deport themselves." Although the law only went into effect on September 28, 2011, it has largely succeeded. No Way to Live is based interviews with 50 unauthorized immigrants as well as several dozen affected citizens, activists, and local government officials in Alabama. It documents the ways in which the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act has radically transformed the lives of unauthorized immigrants in that state. Most of the people we interviewed have lived in the state for more than 10 years, and have deep ties to the state through US citizen family, work, and community. In the first two months the law was in effect, local officials have used it to deny unauthorized immigrants access to everyday necessities such as water and housing in violation of their basic rights. The law also denies all unauthorized immigrants fundamental rights protections that should apply to everyone, not just citizens, making them more susceptible to discriminatory harassment and abuse by local authorities and ordinary people. They live in a climate of fear and uncertainty, which has had a particularly severe impact on children, many of whom are US citizens. Under international law, governments are empowered to regulate immigration. However, no government at any level may enact a law that denies fundamental rights to people based on their status. The experience of Alabama's unauthorized immigrants and their families underscores the urgent need for comprehensive federal immigration reform that is respectful of human rights, and for Alabama's immediate repeal of the Beason-Hammon Act."--P  of cover.