It's no longer legally or socially acceptable for leaders in Alabama to pass laws that overtly target African Americans. Fortunately, they have a new outlet for their hate. Alabama can now lay claim to the most anti-immigrant law in the country. Not only has the governor just signed an Arizona-style "papers please" law that allows police to check the immigration status of anyone they think is illegally in the country, but the new law also makes it a crime to provide transportation or housing to someone in the country illegally. To those who remember the Sensenbrenner bill from several years ago making good samaritan acts a felony will find this provision to be a familiar one.

And last but not least, the law requires all schools to check the immigration status of their students. That's a pretty clear violation of the 1982 Plyler v. Doe Supreme Court decision that said that all children have a due process right to a public education regardless of their immigration status. Alabama taxpayers are now going to pay a lot of money to a lot of lawyers and will lose this one in the end. Good thing things are going so well in that state that they've got a lot of money to blow on lawsuits.

The rest of the country has view Alabama negatively since the Civil Rights era and the unbelievable cruelty whites in the state inflicted on their black neighbors. And for the last 40 years, people in the state have tried to convince the rest of the world that they've changed. That's how they've managed to convince all those foreign carmakers to set up shop. If I were in the business of recruiting businesses to Alabama, I'd be pretty nervous right now. I know a lot of progressives in Alabama who have to be feeling pretty depressed right now that the state is sliding back in to its old ways.