Alabama nears final approval of immigration crackdown

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:31pm EDT

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley speaks during a news conference at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in Mobile, Alabama February 24, 2011. REUTERS/ Lyle W. Ratliff

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley speaks during a news conference at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in Mobile, Alabama February 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/ Lyle W. Ratliff

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters)- Following in the footsteps of the Alabama House of Representatives, the state Senate on Thursday passed a measure to crackdown on illegal immigration, bringing the measure close to becoming law.

If minor differences between versions of the bill are ironed out and Republican Governor Robert Bentley signs it, Alabama would join a handful of states enacting major immigration legislation this year.

The Alabama law is similar to an Arizona measure that stirred national controversy and was blocked in the courts. Like Arizona, Alabama state and local police would have broad powers to check the immigration status of people detained on other charges.

Under the Alabama legislation harboring, concealing, transporting or employing illegal immigrants would be against the law and any employer doing business with the state will be required to check the legal status of workers.

The bill passed the Senate by a 26 to 6 vote.

"This bill is about job creation to ensure that Alabamians who want a job will get a job and won't be denied in lieu of an illegal immigrant or fired to hire an illegal immigrant," said bill sponsor, Republican Senator Scott Beason.

The bill extends into housing issues, requiring landlords to refuse rentals or even evict people who are found to be illegal immigrants.

"Lots of people will be instantly homeless because landlords who rent to illegals will become felons," said Helen Rivas, a civil rights advocate.

Rights groups are concerned that it would lead to racial profiling in the state, which has a long history of civil rights violations, and infringe the federal government's duty to enforce immigration laws.

Under the bill, the children of illegal immigrants could be restricted from participating in extracurricular activities at school and from benefiting from in-state college tuition.

The bill returns to the House to be approved, amended or merged with the House bill passed last week, and then goes to the governor.

In the absence of federal immigration reform, a few states have followed Arizona in enacting immigration laws. Utah passed sweeping immigration legislation this year and an immigration measure is awaiting the signature of Georgia's Republican governor. Proposals are moving through the legislatures of several other states.

(Editing by Greg McCune)

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Comments (6)
EddieBrown wrote:
The ACLU can hassle one or two states with dumb litigation. But lets see them try to sue when forty five of the states in the U.S. pass common sense laws like this.

Apr 21, 2011 9:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
PareshB wrote:
Laws like these have the big potential of being misused.
Let’s not forget that this is a country of immigrants.
When the first “pioneers” came here, they were essentially illegal immigrants.

So, folks, let’s go easy on this!

Apr 21, 2011 12:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Warof2010 wrote:
Border Apprehensions

GAO: only 129 miles of the 2,000 mile Southwest Border
are under “full control” of the Border Patrol

Fiscal Year (Source DHS/CBP)

In the 24 years, since the 1986 Reagan, one-time amnesty,
over 28 million illegals were apprehended
after they crossed our border.
Over 100 million illegals weren’t apprehended

Before the recent addition (over the last 3 years) of:
10,000 Border Patrol agents,
313.9 miles of Pedestrian Fence,
32 miles of the legislated double-layered fence,
and 298.5 miles of Vehicle Barriers,
it was estimated, by the border patrol agents,
that less than 1, out of 7, illegals, were apprehended at the border.
Some agents even said less than 1, out of 10, were apprehended.

Now, the Border Patrol thinks they apprehend somewhere between
1, out of 3 and, 1 out of 5. but nobody really knows..

However, we do know that the reported 11.2 million illegals in our
United States is a lie being told, over, and over again, to all Americans

30 million illegals, in our United States, is much more likely

Apr 22, 2011 12:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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