ACPP in the News
Analysis shows a steep drop in the state's unemployment rate isn't because of Alabama's overreaching immigration law
One shouldn't blame state Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, for wishing the state's mean-spirited immigration law is responsible for Alabama's sharp decline in unemployment for October. This Birmingham News editorial cites ACPP's analysis refuting Hammon's claim.
Analysis of recent jobs numbers disproves the claims of those asserting that Alabama's new anti-immigration law is responsible for putting Alabamians to work, says Arise Citizens' Policy Project.
The half-percent-point decrease in Alabama's jobless rate in October isn't due to the state' tough new immigration law, but rather because many residents simply have given up looking for work, according to an analysis by Arise Citizens' Policy Project.
While acknowledging it's impossible to immediately prove whether Alabama's strict new immigration law is driving down the state's unemployment rate, state Sen. Bryan Taylor says there are signs it's a real factor. This Birmingham News article cites an Arise analysis to the contrary.
In response to a new report citing Alabama's high income tax on the poor, a Huntsville TV station turned to Arise members for comment. Dale Clem, pastor of Monte Sano United Methodist Church and an ACPP board member, and Dick Hiatt, executive director of the North Alabama Food Bank, an ACPP member group, voice their concerns about Alabama's upside-down tax system in this news clip.
Decatur Utilities now prohibits illegal immigrants from obtaining electric, gas, water or sewer service, an official said Friday.
Section 30 of the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act requires the state and its political subdivisions to confirm that individuals conducting "business transactions" -- which the law defines to mean "any transaction" -- are legally present in the United States. The law makes it a felony for a legal resident to enter into a transaction with the state or its subdivisions on behalf of an undocumented immigrant.
In this Decatur Daily article, ACPP's Stephen Stetson says that denial of utility services under Alabama's anti-immigrant law will hurt vulnerable families, just as the law intends.
According to numbers released last week, the percentage of Alabamians without health insurance, while still barely below the national average of 16.2 percent, has risen 4.3 percent in the last two years to 15.9 percent.
Alabama adults between the ages of 18 and 64 are feeling the brunt of the increase, said Jim Carnes, communications director for Alabama Arise, because "we do such a good job covering children and the federal government does such a good job covering seniors."
Arise Citizens' Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister says two recent reports on the recession's impact in Alabama should be a "wake-up call to state policymakers." Using 2009-10 Census Bureau figures, Forrister said 16.9 percent of Alabamians were in poverty those two years. A report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that 17.3 percent of the state's 1.8 million households between 2008 and 2010 had limited access to adequate food.
"For too many Alabama households, the family dinner table is a snapshot of the bleak economy," Forrister said. He advocated removing the state's 4 percent sales tax on groceries as a way to help Alabamians.
Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that while he remains opposed to federal health care reform, he supports some of its provisions and believes it may have spurred states to take action they might not have otherwise taken. The governor, speaking to reporters after addressing the Alabama Health Insurance Exchange Study Commission on Friday, said he was "against telling anyone they have to purchase insurance" and believes health insurance exchanges mandated under the act must "fit" Alabama.
This Montgomery Advertiser article includes comments from Arise health policy analyst Jim Carnes.