• More Fallout From Alabama's Immigration Law?

    BBVA Compass originally planned to build a new office tower in downtown Birmingham, as part of a plan to expand operations and relieve crowding conditions at the corporate headquarters in the Daniel Building. According to a Birmingham News report, it looks like that's not going to happen. Instead, BBVA Compass will spend $15 million on renovations on renovating and expanding its operations center east of Railroad Park.

    This wouldn't be a noteworthy story to blog on DDSS, except for a few interesting comments from AL.com's comments section:

    A good friend of mine was working on the project for quite some time. The real reason is that the leadership of BBVA in Spain saw the excessively harsh immigration laws of Alabama as bigotry against Spanish speaking immigrants. They were particularly disturbed by Sen. Beason's comments in the paper last Sunday... with him stating that the fact that immigrant families were being broken up were a sign that the "law was working".

    Keep spewing your mindless drivel if you want, but I assure you, the blame for this one rests squarely on the shoulders of the leadership in Alabama. I forget... which party pushed for this immigration law that's causing all this damage?

    I can vouch for this post. BBVA is now pouring resources into Houston and as a result of the immigration law in Alabama will continue to move more people over to Houston. Why would a Spanish speaking executive want to be viewed as a second class citizen in Alabama?

    The building was cancelled because of the immigration bill and that's just beginning.

    Thanks for the article Russell. It is likely Alabama's immigration law caused Birmingham to loose a major investment. I have heard a similar rumors.

    It is time for the governor and other bill sponsors to "listen" to concerns. Last week, RSA chief executive David Bronner spoke with the Birmingham News about a group that cancelled their golfing trip to Alabama because of the law.

    Has the Birmingham News contacted Mayor Bell or Gov. Bentley for comment?

    BBVA has high rise building planned for multiple locations including Houston. Birmingham was on the list, but the immigration law killed that future investment. A lot more jobs are moving to Houston now and the Birmingham economy is going to hurt because of it.

    If this is true, then the impact from HB 56 isn't just being limited to farms and small businesses. When multinational corporations take a dim view of your shenanigans and decide to scale back on in-state investments, that's a pretty big hint you'd have to take. The other shoe that'll drop behind this is BBVA Compass leaving Birmingham altogether in favor of Houston.

    I expect the lawmakers in Alabama who supported HB 56 to stand by their convictions, right up to the moment when their own campaign funds and kickbacks become threatened as a consequence of HB 56.