Alabama Enacts Law Against Illegal Immigration
Alabama has an estimated 120,000 illegal immigrants
MONTGOMERY, Ala. Alabama zipped past Arizona on Thursday with what is being called the most restrictive law in America against illegal immigration, requiring schools to find out if students are in the United States lawfully and making it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride.
Similar to Arizona’s law, it allows police to arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant if the person is stopped for some other reason. The law also requires all businesses to check the legal status of workers using the federal system called E-Verify.
The Alabama law takes effect Sept. 1st.
Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, who signed it into law Thursday, expressed confidence it would withstand any legal challenges.
“We have a real problem with illegal immigration in this country,” he said. “I campaigned for the toughest immigration laws, and I’m proud of the Legislature for working overtime to create the strongest immigration bill in America.”
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, it is estimated that Alabama has 120,000 illegal immigrants. Many of them are believed to be working throughout the state on farms, chicken processing plants and in construction.
GOP Sen. Scott Beason, one of the legislation's sponsors, said it would help the unemployed by preventing illegal immigrants from getting jobs in the state. Alabama’s unemployment rate hit 9.3 percent in April.
“This will put thousands of Alabamians back in the work force,” Beason said.
This new law puts Alabama at the forefront of America's illegal immigration issue. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center agreed that it is the nation’s toughest crackdown on the United States illegal immigration problem.