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It’s your fault! Decatur Daily, TimesDaily blame Alabama, not illegal immigration for possible loss of US House seat

Alabama is in danger of losing one of its seven congressional seats, and it’s your fault.

That is according to a Wednesday editorial that appeared in two north Alabama newspapers, the Decatur Daily and Florence’s TimesDaily.

The editorial board of the Daily and the TimesDaily reacted to a lawsuit filed by the state of Alabama and Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-Huntsville) against the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau announced a day earlier. The goal of the suit is to stop illegal immigrants from being counted in the 2020 census. If they are included, it could mean the loss of a congressional seat for Alabama after the data is compiled and the U.S. House seats are apportioned.

According to the editorial, Alabama only has itself to blame if it loses a House seat given the tack the state has taken on illegal immigration, which it argued sent the wrong message to legal immigrants.

“The rest of the South is booming, and Alabama is the only state in the Deep South that looks likely to lose a congressional seat following the 2020 census. There is a reason for this: In 2011, the state Legislature passed HB 56, a draconian measure aimed at “illegal immigration.” The law had the net effect of making Alabama look inhospitable to immigrants legal and illegal.”

There’s no question HB had its problems. It was hastily conceived legislation, and it was destined to fail in the long run because it couldn’t pass muster with the courts.

However, if the message sent from Alabama’s tough stance on immigration is to blame, why isn’t Arizona in danger of losing one of its nine congressional seats for the similar immigration legislation it passed in 2010?

Arizona’s SB 1070 had much more of the national spotlight than Alabama’s HB 56. We all remember then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) tangling with President Barack Obama on the tarmac at the airport in Phoenix.

Instead, Arizona is expected to gain a seat after the 2020 Census according to Bloomberg.

So much for that theory.

Beyond that incorrect assumption, this editorial is just wrong in its key criticism that Alabama was in need of improvement on how “inviting” it has made itself to immigrants.

“Instead of suing the federal government, Alabama should instead work on making itself inviting to immigrants from abroad,” the editorial added. “Otherwise, in another 10 years, it may fall even further behind the rest of the country.”

Alabamians have welcomed Hispanic immigrants to its state. A trip through Franklin County’s Russellville or Marshall County’s Albertville doesn’t seem to suggest Alabama has closed its doors to them.

The Decatur Daily and TimesDaily make the dubious claim that all people in a congressional district, legal or illegal, are constitutionally guaranteed representation and therefore Alabama and Mo Brooks don’t have a legitimate gripe. But what it ignores is why Alabamians take issue with the federal government’s handling of immigration.

A mass influx of immigrants may make newspaper editors feel good about themselves, as they drive to and from the newspaper office while listening to the intellectual ramblings over the airwaves of Alabama Public Radio.

“Ah, if our state could only be as enlightened about humanity as we are!”

Immigration policy has a significant impact on the existing communities. Schools and infrastructure are often overwhelmed, public safety concerns are increased given any new population requires police and fire protection, and on and on.

How is any of this addressed by blaming voters for electing politicians that run on frustrations with immigration? Is it wrong to challenge an advantage given to other states that encourage illegal immigration through sanctuary city and lax drivers license policies?

Rather than publish some left-wing screed that reads more like a column written by a sophomore for a college newspaper, consider things from the point of view of your readers. Consider the impact of immigration on the communities they have built and have lived in all their lives.

That doesn’t seem like too much of an ask for newspapers of record in two of Alabama’s biggest cities.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

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