Saturday, June 4, 2011

They Keep Coming: Alabama Passes Its Own Immigration Law, Copycat Arizona

Photo Courtesy of the State of Alabama Official website

The Alabama legislature has passed a tough new immigration bill.  For the USA Today summary of the law, click here.

The Alabama House and Senate passed the immigration law by wide margins and the bill now awaits the Governor's signature.  Governor Robert Bentlley is on record in support of a tough immigration measure.

If signed into law, the Alabama bill, among other things, would (1) bar undocumented studemts from public colleges and universities; (2) require law enforcement to check the immigration status of persons about whom they have a "reasonable suspicion" about immigration status; (3) make it a crime to knowingly transport or harbor someone who is in the country unlawfully; (4) impose penalties on businesses that knowingly employ someone without legal status -- with the possible suspension or revocation of the employer's business license; and (5) require employers to use E-Verify.

Put simply, the Alabama law is a kind of "greatest hits" of restrictionist measures found in Arizona and other state immigration laws.  The requirements on law enforcement obviously were inspired by Arizona's S.B. 1070.  The Alabama business licensing and E-Verify provisions are much like those of the Arizona law upheld last week by the Supreme Court in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting.  For analysis of Whiting, click here.

Julia Preston of the N.Y. Times quotes Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is an advocate of laws like Alabama's and has been dubbed by Newsweek as "Deporter in Chief," as saying that "Alabama is now the new No. 1 state for immigration enforcement."


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