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Alabama House of Representatives Passes Arizona-style Immigration Law

The Alabama House of Representatives voted 73-28 on April 5, 2011 to pass an immigration law very similar to the controversial one passed in Arizona. It gives law enforcement officers the ability to detain people on the suspicion of being in the United States illegally.
The sponsor of the bill confirmed that the bill “attacks every aspect of an illegal alien’s life.”
“This bill is designed to make it difficult for them to live here so they will deport themselves,” the bill’s sponsor stated. The bill will go to the Senate, now that it has been passed in the Alabama House.

The sponsor of the bill claims illegal immigrants cost taxpayer money and take jobs American citizens would otherwise be working. Opponents, however, insist the bill will result in racial profiling and make law enforcement more expensive. In their opinion, immigration enforcement is the job of the federal government. The supoprters of the bill believe that undocumented workers are responsible increased crime including drug trafficking, various theft crimes including robbery, sex crimes as well all types of violent felonies.

The bill, if passed, would require law enforcement officers to obtain proof of citizenship or residency from anyone they stop for minor incidents like traffic violations, if there is reasonable suspicion that the suspect may be in the United States illegally. The officer would have to make an attempt to ascertain the suspect’s legal status and those believed to be in the United States illegally would be detained and charged with trespassing.

Jails would be able to hold people until their immigration status could be verified. The bill would also make it illegal to give an illegal immigrant a home, to give them a ride, to rent to them, or employ them.

“Help me understand this reasonable suspicion. Do I look American?” an opposing representative asked the bill’s sponsor.

The sponsor replied that “reasonable suspicion” would include someone without identification who acted nervous or who changed their story while speaking with an officer. He also assured citizens that officers could not pull someone over or detain them solely on the suspicion of being in the country illegally. They would have to be pulled over for another matter first.

Alabama could have as many as 120,000 undocumented persons living in the state as of March 2010, which is double the number from just five years ago.

Everyone detained by the police, no matter who they are, have the right to legal defense. In complicated matters, it is imperative that you or your loved ones have the best, which means a NY Criminal Lawyer.

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