Children Go Hungry Under Alabama’s Stringent Immigration Laws

In Alabama, some immigrants have been forced to live as though they were in the dark ages.

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, the state’s tough new laws have been so stringently enforced that many undocumented residents are forced to live without their utilities. HB 56’s business transaction laws, which require individuals to show proof of citizenship or immigration forms before making any business transaction, have caused some utility companies in the state to stop providing electricity and water in homes where individuals cannot show documentation. One library has prevented people from even getting a free library card unless they could show citizenship.

Families with children have gotten the brunt of these business transaction rules included in HB 56, according to the Times. Children of illegal immigrants are now denied food stamps. With many children of illegal immigrants being U.S. citizens, several concerned parents have already called the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hotline to report these benefits being denied to their U.S. citizen children. With such harsh immigration laws causing hungry children to go unfed, many immigration reform advocates are calling Alabama’s law draconian in nature.

According to Fox News, state Senator Scott Beason, who headed the strict laws, said he could find no proof of U.S. citizen children being denied food stamps.

“I’m not going to say it’s totally fabricated,” Beason said, according to WBRC. “I’ve learned over the past year dealing with the anti-immigration law that a lot of people will say a lot of things that are not necessarily factual.”

Kansas’ food stamps policy has also left many children hungry. According to the Kansas City Star, the new law for food stamp distribution will only include the number of official U.S. citizens in the family in determining the family’s ability to qualify for the food stamp program. For example, a family of five composed of three illegal immigrants and two citizens that made less than $1,600 would now not qualify for food stamps, because the income of $1,600 is considered sufficient to feed a family of two.