Monday, February 3, 2014

Mondays with ALEC: Immigration and Opportunity

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) claims to have a prosperity agenda, but in fact it has long fought to keep millions from earning the American Dream through draconian anti-immigrant laws.

ALEC legislation has:

·      Mandated local enforcement of complex federal immigration law, requiring that law enforcement demand the papers of anyone who may look “illegal” -- resulting in ethnic/racial profiling;
·      Promoted harmful stereotypes of aspiring Americans as “illegal gang members” and “terrorists” and misled lawmakers and others that federal immigration reforms would allow people who have committed crimes of violence to become citizens when federal law consistently bars that;
·      Sought to deny U.S. citizenship to American children born here if their parents are undocumented;
·      Sought to increase the number of immigrants detained, even if they committed no crime, which would benefit the private prison industry that paid for ALEC corporate membership for years;
·      Sought to punish local police by subjecting them to fines if they did not prioritize investigating claims that a worker might be undocumented above investigating other crimes like murder

It’s Time to Stand Up to ALEC’s Legacy of Anti-Immigrant Bills

Actions You Can Take
·       Join the campaign at and tell your local legislators commit to supporting common sense immigration reform.
·       Ask your Facebook and Twitter followers to join the campaign on Twitter via @StandUpToALEC and at
·       Tweet: Use the hashtags #ALECimmigration and #StandUpToALEC
·       Share the attached images on Facebook and Twitter

Want to Do More?
Interested in outreach about ALEC’s agenda? Contact Anthony DeAngelo at

ALEC Has Done Nothing to Undo Its Anti-Immigrant Bills
In 2012, ALEC dropped immigration bills from its library, but it’s done nothing to undo the damage done.

SB 1070 – The bill that put ALEC’s anti-immigrant agenda on the map

In April 2010, Arizona passed SB 1070, the notorious “papers please” law that legalized and encouraged racial profiling and mandated local enforcement of federal immigration law. The bill encouraged racial profiling, invaded citizens’ constitutional civil rights, and put new burdens and restrictions on local law enforcement. Before that bill was introduced in the state house, it was secretly pre-approved at a closed door ALEC meeting where state legislators, corporate lobbyists, and special interest groups voted for it.

The year before the bill was introduced in Arizona, then-Arizona Senator Russell Pearce secretly collaborated with ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections Task Force to advance ALEC’s “No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Act” as a “model” for the nation.  That task force included Corrections Corporation of America, which had identified immigrant detention as a profit center, and the trade association for the bail bond industry, which also profits from immigrant detention. (CCA has claimed it did not vote on the bill, and merely observed.) The bill was then introduced in statehouses in Arizona and other states. In 2011, Pearce was recalled by his constituents, largely due to his support of SB 1070.  In 2012, the law was largely struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Restricting a pathway to citizenship and the American Dream

ALEC adopted a “Resolution on the 14th Amendment” declaring that—contrary to the plain language of our Constitution—American children born here to undocumented immigrants should not be citizens.  Other resolutions passed by ALEC falsely claimed that the immigration of undocumented workers cost taxpayers “billions” and misleadingly equated a pathway to citizenship with “amnesty” for “illegal gang members and terrorists.”

Forcing Our Cities to Choose Between Criminals and Aspiring Americans

Instead of helping aspiring Americans prosper and help our country grow, ALEC has fought to target them through local law enforcement, forcing already resource-depleted local police to focus on those who simply want to build a better life rather than Americans or others who commit violent crimes.

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