The new immigration legislation passed in Alabama may affect the trend of an ever-increasing Hispanic population on Sand Mountain, according to area elected officials.

Marshall and DeKalb are behind only Franklin as the counties with the highest percentage of Hispanics, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.

The Hispanic population in Alabama more than doubled since 2000 to about 186,000 in 2010, or 3.9 percent of the state's total population of nearly 4.8 million.

In 2000, the Census reported 75,830 Hispanics, or 1.7 percent of the state's population.

DeKalb County's population is 13.6 percent Hispanic, and Marshall County is 12 percent Hispanic. The other county in The Reporter's coverage area, Etowah, is 3.3 percent Hispanic.

Franklin County is 14.9 percent Hispanic.

2010 Census figures show 9,690 Hispanics live in DeKalb, which has a population of 71,109.

Figures show 11,238 Hispanics live in Marshall, which has a population of 93,109. More than half of the Hispanics in Marshall live in Albertville.

Rep. Kerry Rich, one of the leaders of immigration reform in Alabama, is not at all shocked by the figures.

"I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it's more than that," Rich said.

The Albertville Republican represents District 26, which includes portions of DeKalb and Marshall counties. Rich was a strong proponent of the recently passed immigration legislation in Alabama.

The three-term legislator said he expects the new law to stem the tide of dramatically increasing numbers of Hispanics living in the state.

"I think it will affect it if the law is upheld in the courts, which I think it eventually will be upheld," Rich said. "I don't have a problem with Hispanics as people. God loves them just as much as he loves me. The problem is a large number of them come here illegally. It's the consequences of them being here illegally.

"You can only assimilate so many people in your area at one time," he added. "When it goes above a certain level, it's just impossible to assimilate them in your society. And that's what we have on Sand Mountain. We have had such an influx, it's just impossible to assimilate them all."

The Marshall County city seeing by far the most increase in Hispanic population is Albertville.

"I think the new law is going to halt the trend even before the September 1 enactment date," said Albertville Mayor Lindsey Lyons. "I think it's already had an effect on self-deportation even as we speak. In Albertville, our law enforcement is prepared to enforce all parts of that law. It's our responsibility and duty, and we're going to do it."

2010 Census figures show Albertville with a Hispanic population well above the Marshall County average. The Census reported 5,899 Hispanics in Albertville, or 27.9 percent of the city's 21,160 total population.

Lyons thinks the population is even higher.

"I have some misgivings about the Census figures," he said. "We'll never know how many of that population didn't participate and give the required information. It could very well be an undercount."

In Boaz, the Census reported 806 Hispanics, or 8.4 percent of the city's 9,551 total population.

In the U.S., the Census reported 50.5 million people of Hispanic or Latino origin, or about 16 percent of the nation's 308.7 million total population.

(8) comments

GUDWAR

if you aint blond or blue eyed watch out

Mike Lockwood

This law will definitely curb the illegals from staying and more from coming. Arizona's SB 1070 has already caused an estimated 100,000 illegals to leave Arizona since Brewer signed that law last July.

Legal workers in the state can make the exodus of illegals even faster by bringing up the possibility of law suits against the employer for continuing to employ illegals. This has proven extremely effective and also has shown in most cases to benefit the legal workers through increased wages, and bonuses for recommending other legal workers to the companies.

itsmrkltou

First they came for the communist! I did nothing because I was not a communist!
Then they came for the trade unionist and I did nothing because I was not a trade unionist!
Then they came for the Jews and I did nothing because I was not a Jew!
Then they came for me but there was nobody left to speak up for me!
You go get em Mr Hitler, er I mean Mr. Rich!

countryboy47

Outstanding job Mr. Rich upholding the law of the land. I suggest the Governor of Alabama and state Attorney general start filing law suits against groups and organization who are causing illegals to remain in our state by aiding,abetting,encouraging and harboring them iincluding ethnocentric law firms from the Montgomery area Under Title 8 Section 1324 US Code.

countryboy47

If you want to fight illegal immigration join www.numbersusa.com,www.fairus.org both are members of the BBB organization and believe in the rule of law in our country.

Mike Lockwood

itsmrkitou

What a ridiculous comparison but that would be expected from any open borders hug an illegal type. Your trying to compare with the eviction of illegals that aren't supposed to be in this country in the first place with what Hitler did is a poor and desperate attempt to try to justify your obvious position of doing nothing when it comes to the illegals.

That shows that you are either illegal yourself, involved with an illegal or think you need an illegal to help you earn your money.

Regardless of your situation you have proved once again that you have nothing toi add to any debate so sit back on your couch with your head stuck up your 4th point of contact and let adults discuss the article.

blessed

What alot of people do not understand is that...most of the illegal people here are on medicaid, food stamps,etc. So WE are paying for them to be here. This is not about hitler or being prejudist. If they would become legal, learn our language, & pay taxes like the rest of us it would not be an issue. Basically, if they would follow the rules in our ONE NATION UNDER GOD it would be fine for them to be here. Thank you Mr.Rich for upholding American laws.

Buffalo

Close the border or it’s a free ride home. Political pundits representing dude!

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