Members of the Shoals legislative delegation said Thursday they hope the upcoming session offers more opportunities to debate bills and focus on positive legislation.
They also want a session that doesn’t pass laws that the legislators say damage Alabama, including 2011’s controversial immigration laws. The regular session begins Feb. 7.
“The illegal immigration law is probably the worst law we’ve ever had,” state Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, said during a board meeting of the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments,
Bedford said he voted in favor of the law because he had little chance to review the 82-bill. He said the bill includes language that makes it illegal to take an illegal immigrant to church.
“The bill is driven by racism and driven by economic fear,” Bedford said. “That’s what happens when you don’t have enough debate.”
Bedford also pointed out major repercussions of the law. He used an automobile dealership as an example. He said if a dealership hires an illegal immigrant, even if it’s unintentional, that dealership loses its business for 10 days. In the vehicle dealership industry, if you shut down for five days, you permanently lose your franchise.
He said officials from other states have told him they have advertising in place that uses the immigration laws against Alabama in economic development.
“I made a mistake in voting for this, and I hope other legislators are man and woman enough to say they made the wrong vote,” he said.