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With more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country, it’s obvious that the current immigration system is badly broken. Since Congress hasn’t found the political will to reform the system, some states have attempted to fill the void by passing their own immigration enforcement laws.

Alabama’s law, H.B. 56, similar to Arizona’s infamous S.B. 1070, is intended to make every facet of life so difficult and uncomfortable for undocumented immigrants and their families that they leave the state.

But while the law’s goal was to drive undocumented immigrants to self-deportation, the law has hurt native-born Alabamians and the state’s economy as much as its intended targets.

Alabama’s lawmakers should have learned this lesson from Arizona, where the economic backlash from passing the legislation was swift. Other states should learn from Alabama before they make the same mistake.

Get informed

Keep up with daily reporting on immigration by Think Progress and America’s Voice Education Fund Blog.

Plug into the action in Alabama with the Alabama Coalition for Immigration Justice.

Tell your story on Define American and hear why other Americans such as Chris Weitz treasure an inclusive and welcoming America.

Check out the "100 Reasons Why Alabama’s Immigration Law is a Disaster" by the Center for American Progress.

Watch Scott Douglas III, executive director of the Greater Birmingham Ministries, on “The Colbert Report.”

Listen to the “This American Lifeepisode, “Reap What You Sow” Act One “Alien Experiment.”

Read The Economist piece “Caught in the net: Alabama’s immigration law is proving too strict and too costly.”

Read “Alabama’s Immigration Disaster: The Harshest Law in the Land Harms the State’s Economy and Society” by Tom Baxter at the Center for American Progress.

Take a look at the University of Alabama’s study, “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the New Alabama Immigration Law.”

Check out this guide on “State Battles Over Immigration: The Forecast for 2012” by the Advancement Project.