A sponsor of Alabama's tough new immigration law told desperate tomato farmers Monday that he won't change the law, even though they told him that their crops are rotting in the field and they are at risk of losing their farms."Now lookie heah boy, I don't like the wet backs any more'n you do, but I got me a crop a termaders to get in. You think anybody that speaks English gonna work for what I pay?" one exasperated grower asked.
"My position is to stay with the law as it is," Republican state Sen. Scott Beason told the farmers."You know how long it took me to write that thing?" He continued. "All them whereasses and heretofores, you think they just popped up? Jesus man, there's even some Latin in there. I don't know what it means, but it sure sounds important. My nephew put it in there for me. He went to high school you know. The whole six years."
After talking with farmers at the tomato shed, Beason visited the Smith family's farm. Leroy Smith, Chad Smith's father, challenged the senator to pick a bucket full of tomatoes and experience the labor-intensive work. Beason declined."I can not believe you just asked a white man to do that," he said.
The U.S. Justice Department, civil rights groups and others have challenged the law. U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn allowed major portions of the law to take effect Thursday. The opponents asked the judge Friday to put the law on hold while they appeal her ruling. Attorneys for the state filed court papers Monday asking the judge to leave the law in effect during the appeal."This is gonna take a fair passel o time," Judge Blackburn said. "That's a whole wagon load a readin' there and not a pitcher in the lot, jus' words. And that Latin! Lord only knows what that stuff means."