Alabama governor Robert Bentley
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has signed a controversial immigration bill into law, similar to the one passed by Arizona last year. Photo Credit: Sutherland Boswell/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

The governor of Alabama has signed a controversial immigration law into effect. The new law aims at cutting down on the presence of illegal immigrants by using tactics similar to those authorized in the Arizona immigration law that was passed last year.

Civil liberties group planning lawsuit

The American Civil Liberties Union has pledged to file a lawsuit against the recently passed Alabama immigration law, according to the Los Angeles Times. The ACLU has slammed the law as being “draconian” and unconstitutional. The law is similar to the controversial Arizona immigration bill from last year, SB 1070, in that law enforcement officers have to check the citizenship status of any person they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. The law stipulates that the officers are required to make “reasonable” efforts to check a person’s citizenship should there be a “reasonable” cause for suspicion. However, there doesn’t seem to be much mention of what “reasonable suspicion” might be, except for not being able to produce sufficient documentation when stopped by police, according to Reuters.

Potential consequences are dire

There are a raft of potentially damning consequences if a person gives aid to an illegal immigrant. Governor Robert Bentley acknowledged that he signed a “tough” law, though he maintains that immigration reform was a cause that he has campaigned for. It is a crime, under this new law, to knowingly provide transportation for or harbor an illegal immigrant. People are forbidden from renting illegal immigrants’ property or knowingly employing them, and employers, according to Time, have to check a suspected illegal immigrants’ status through the federal E-Verify system. Public schools have to report suspected illegal immigrants to state authorities and document the number of suspected illegal immigrants among the students. Illegal immigrants cannot apply for college, be accepted by one, or apply for or receive any public benefits.

Lawsuit may impede enacting of law

Provisions of the law are scheduled to come into effect in September and again in April of 2011. However, the law will have to survive any legal challenges. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit group that champions civil liberties and has waged many successful suits against racist organizations such as the Klu Klux Klan and others, is also intending to file suit against the law. Governor Bentley maintains that he signed the bill with the intention of getting more people in Alabama employed, as the state has an unemployment rate at about the national average. Alabama is estimated to have fewer than 200,000 illegal immigrants. Portions of the controversial Arizona law that served as this law’s inspiration have been blocked by federal courts, according to CNN. However,  Arizona governor Jan Brewer announced recently she intended on appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Los Angeles Times:,0,4204688.story




Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)


Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]