LULAC Calls for Auto Industry and Related Supply Companies to Consider the Punitive Provisions of HB 56 Before Doing Business in Alabama

December 8, 2011

Contact: Paloma Zuleta, pzuleta@lulac.org, (202) 812-4477

Washington, DC – Today, LULAC announced a call to auto manufacturers and related supply companies to reconsider doing business in a state that has passed and is enforcing anti-immigration laws like HB 56. Alabama’s restrictive law requires that state police verify the immigration status from those “reasonably suspected” of being undocumented. Not only is the statute punitive in nature, it fails to recognize the critical role that the Latino and immigrant community play in maintaining the state’s economic stability.

Alabama is currently the center of automotive manufacturing in the south. Giant auto manufacturers like Mercedes–Benz have decided to open manufacturing plants in the state and thus greatly enhancing the state’s economy. Harsh anti-immigrant laws like HB 56 should make auto manufacturers rethink their commitment to the state of Alabama. Alabama has extended considerable resources in an attempt to project an image of a state with a quality workforce, based on education tolerance for diversity. In truth, a critical review of Alabama reveals that it is not the diverse culture melting pot it claims to be for attracting foreign investments. Instead it’s a state with the harshest anti-immigration laws in the country and the poster child for intolerance.

The following industries have either expanded existing businesses in the state or have recently announced a plan to move their operations to the state of Alabama.

  • ThyssenKrupp AG – announced its plans to build a $3.7 billion steel mill north of Mobile
  • Carpenter Technology Corp – is building a $500 million steel facility that will add 241 jobs and in 2017 expanding the operations with an additional $100 million investment, adding 60 more employees
  • Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group – announced earlier this year plans to build a $100 million facility, in Thomasville, Alabama which will add 300 jobs. The company is the largest maker of specialized copper tubes
  • The North American Lighting Company – a manufacturer of signal lamps for cars, is investing $10.2 million in machinery to expand its operations. This growth will bring an additional 100 jobs
  • C and J Alabama – a company of plastic injection and molding is expanding operations in Alexander City, Alabama. The company expects to add 150 employees by 2013
  • Topre America – a company specializing in technology for car manufacturers is investing $109 million to expand its plant in Cullman, Alabama that will add 250 jobs to the community
  • Navistar International Corp. – has agreed to lease the once abandoned National Alabama railcar plant and start production of school buses and medium and heavy duty trucks. The company will be employing 2,200 workers within the next four years
  • Mercedes Benz & Daimler AG – between 2012 to 2014, the company announced a combined investment of $2 billion to upgrade and expand the operation; in 2015 the company is investing an additional $350 million and adding 400 jobs to the state
  • Hyundai – in March 2012, the company will be increasing its investments by $173 million to expand the engine plant in Alabama
  • Honda – in 2011 and 2013, the company is increasing investments by $191 million for the production of a new SUV model
  • Toyota – in 2012, the company is investing $147 million for the production of a 4 cylinder car
LULAC calls upon these companies, with a vested interest in the economic development of Alabama, to reconsider doing business in a state that supports such harsh anti-immigration laws. Such laws undermine the educational empowerment, and the strength of the labor force. Auto manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz should consider their employees before doing business in Alabama. For example, recently a company executive was hauled off to jail for only being able to produce a German photo ID because in Alabama that no longer is a sufficient form of identification.

LULAC believes that the state has wrongfully usurped federal authority with legislation that directly conflicts with current federal enforcement of immigration laws. LULAC has long opposed state intrusion into the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction over immigration. HB 56 is an unconstitutional encroachment of federal law and an effort by Alabama to harass and intimidate its Latino population.

About LULAC: The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating through 900 LULAC councils nationwide. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.

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