Alabama governor signs 'tough' immigration law
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed a strict immigration law Thursday.
June 9th, 2011
01:08 PM ET

Alabama governor signs 'tough' immigration law

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed a "tough illegal immigration law" Thursday morning, his press office said.

The bill is considered by both supporters and critics to be among the toughest in the nation, even stricter than controversial laws in Arizona and Georgia.

Under the new law, public schools will be required to determine the citizenship and immigration status of enrolling students through sworn affidavits or birth certificates.

Authorities will also be required to detain a person who they believe is in the country illegally if the person cannot produce proof of residency when stopped "for any reason."

Alabama businesses will  be required to use a database called E-Verify to look up the immigration status of new employees. The use of the database was recently endorsed after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a separate Arizona immigration law.

It will  be illegal for Alabama residents to knowingly give a ride or transport an illegal immigrant or for a landlord to knowingly rent a property to an illegal immigrant.

Cecillia Wang, managing attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union's immigrants rights project, called the bill "outrageous and blatantly unconstitutional" in an interview with The New York Times before Bentley signed it.

Huntsville Times editorial: A law, mostly for Hispanics

FULL STORY
soundoff (797 Responses)
  1. MIKE

    ALL OF YOU CONCERNED WITH ILLEGALS, PLEASE MOVE TO ALABAMA!!! I DARE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • OutOfContext

      Yea, I wish the feds would enforce the existing laws with more vigor so this would not be necessary .

      June 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • theyarefu

      Why not go after them too ?

      June 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. 10string

    I am a registered Democrat, I live in California, and I STILL wish we had a govenor who had the cajones to do this HERE! Thank You Gov. Bently for blazing the path.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • RHG

      Cojones.
      Cajones means big boxes.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mike

    ok.i get it....what about the immigrants who came here legally.applied and have to wait in line for 8 yrs...i got a masters in finance from Philadelphia university....the cases are backlogged....i have a social sec.number...pay taxes....never gotten in trouble with the law...pay my bills.....have 2 us citizen daughters....but no status....the uscis is processing cases from 2002.my date is 2008.....6 more yrs been here 6 yrs already.....cant travel...missed brothers death....sisters wedding...easy to say go back.....i have a small business...5 Americans are on the payroll......spent 1000's of dollars on lawyers....no help.....forget amnesty....at-least streamline the current system.....and get thins done.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • rlcommenter

      Mike: you are not who this is all about.. Good Luck.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • OutOfContext

      Thank you. This is the one of the real problems. Let's fix yours at the same time as the others ...

      June 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa W

      If you are speaking of yourself...you applied for citizenship...that is a GREAT thing. It's unfortunate that the system is so slow, but I appreciate your coming here and doing things right. I'm sorry for what you've missed, but it sounds like you did the right thing and are making a wonderful life for yourself and family.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      You have a legal immigration status, which is verifiable, correct? Should be a non-issue.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • AAllen

      you wanted to come to the country,,,, deal with it! Nobody told you to come. Good job for obeying the laws, thats what you came here for. If you don't like the laws, you shouldn't have came. You saw shiny American money and dreams, but don't want to deal with the process... should've thought about that before you showed up!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      so exactly how are you here legally? with no papers,

      June 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      We are not anti immigration we are anti illegal immigration. Just keep your visa up to date keep paying your taxes and we all welcome you. I still believe in the melting pot. I only want people to do it the right way.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • WookaWooka

      Well... you're the one who wants to live here. Everything has a price. Deal with it or move back.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. cheerstohegov'na

    Excellent!

    June 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Professor18

    ok how about we all get the hell out and let the indinas have there land back. Did any of us come here the right why hell no . Every few years this country has a problem with a race of people. Until 1964 it was the blacks now it's the Latinos. It's shock me that other races are here but everyone cry about Latinos and Blacks. The next time some one tried to attack the U.S. check to see if this is one of the race to want to treat like dirty if not deport or make law to get him but they will not

    June 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ChuckinBama

      You don't get it. These "illegals" only goal is to come here and work free for a while and make enough money to go back home and live like kings. We're not talking about people who want to live here – who want to do it right and go through the process. Everyone that wants to do it right - I'm all for.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Well your certainly no English Professor !!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Kells

      Actually, we did come here the right way. All land is conquered, that's how territory changes hands. The "Native" Americans came here from Asia 13,000 years ago and took the land from it's earlier inhabitants, who likely did the same. Just because the current Americans came here later, doesn't mean we are here illegally. My grandfather immigrated here legally in the 1950's and it took him several years to obtain legal status. It isn't easy, for a reason.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ChuckinBama

    Sweet Home Alabama - way to go. Somebody needs to stand up – we're getting overrun with illegals. And these chicken farmers and roofers are the first that need to go to jail for hiring them.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Russ

      Okay. We'll see how Alabama feels when it's in the situation Georgia is now in – losing hundreds of millions of dollars because fields are going unharvested. Apparently Georgia farmers can't find Americans to take those jobs, and migrant workers (both legal and illegal) are afraid to cross the Georgia border. Sure, a few more Americans – the farmers – will be out of work, but hey, we'll stop those immigrants from taking jobs Americans won't work anyway!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChuckinBama

      Russ – that is the most ridiculous argument ever. The Farmers need to start forking over some of that money their pocketing from hiring these guys for $5 a day and go buy some more equipment to do the job. That's how most farmers do it in Alabama – they have good ol' country boys with harvesters running around the clock. Not a bunch of illegal pickers that scatter when INS shows up.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Russ , the problem is not that the farmers can't find American labor to harvest the fields , the problem is that they can't find American labor to harvest the fields for the wages they're used to paying the illegals to do it because American citizens are protected by labor laws This influx of illegals over the last 40 years has set this standard that can not be reversed unless action is taken now , an no it won't be all fixed up after a few months but after a few years it will regulate it's self and our economy will prosper once again , employers need to lose the i'll get an illegal to do it mentailty all for the sake of higher margins at the expense of the American tax payer , welfare system suffers, education suffers, health care suffers and the job market suffers as well , not to mention social security , while the living conditions and standards of life fall lower and lower in areas with large illegal populations

      June 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      Chuck, certainly as one of the good ole boys you're aware there are dozens of crops that can't be picked by machines, because they're either low to the ground (like strawberries, which are also planted by hand), or because the machines are more likely to damage the crop, making them cost effective only for large farms (like blackberries), or because the crop doesn't grow uniformly and is thus difficult to design a machine around (like leaf lettuce). But then, I'm sure you knew all of that...

      Fred, you know, I'm really okay with the idea of limiting illegal immigration (I'm rational enough to think it will never be eliminated – there's no such thing as absolutes, etc.). I'm curious about this idea that the system will recover on its own in a few years. What happens to the farmers who lose crops in the mean time, and to their families? If they run out of business, are we thus pushing them onto welfare? Can we assume they'll find something else to do with the land? It's not like switching to a machine-harvested crops and buying the harvesters is cheap. Is putting family farms out of business the cost of limiting illegal immigration... and if so, has anyone estimated the cost? Alabama is one of the poorest states in the nation. How many more unemployed can they really handle (if, in fact, they're handling them at all)? Likewise, in the mean time, things like education suffer because schools are supported by property taxes – which will drop as farms go under. Social security will suffer as the unemployed pay less tax and/or retire early. Now, I'm not certain how many of these things will come to pass... but one has to wonder if anyone has even tried to form an official estimate of the cost of these measures.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MiketheElectrician

    Alabama has nothing to worry about, nothing but a bunch of white racist hillbilly's live there. But seriously, so does the school then spend the money to see if the certificate is not a forge? do they hunt down the notary that signed the affidavit?

    June 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Keith B

      Your ignorant most city's in Alabama have a black majority

      June 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Quit complaining because our state can man-up and yours can't.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • OutOfContext

      There are other laws that apply to forgery. Nothing is perfect but this is a step in the right direction

      June 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChuckinBama

      Mike – I guess I'm one of those white racist hillbillys. Are you just upset that you won't be able to get a bunch of illegals to work for you for $10 a day? But seriously, to answer your question, we already pay people who's only job is to go out into the "Latino" communities, help them sign up for financial aid, government services, make sure their kids are enrolled in schools, and then require those who teach them to take classes to learn Spanish – so, that the teachers can take away from our children's time trying to teach the "Latinos" and their parents to speak English. And those people that "we the taxpayers" are paying for are told not to ask about citizenship or turn in an known illegals - THAT TICKS ME OFF!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      I'm with Mike. Alabama school districts are some of the poorest in the nation – which stems from Alabama having some of the lowest incomes in the country – and now they'll expect them to pay to suss out the immigration status of children. Awesome. You know Alabama is in the top 10 most illiterate states – along with Georgia, Florida and Mississippi? So, they already got rid of one of the Three Rs – Reading. Now they can get rid of another... ahh Republicans. Keeping poor people poor since 1981.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChuckinBama

      Russ again – wrong. Ever been to North Alabama – Like Huntsville? You know where the first Rocket was built to carry men to the moon – one of the highest concentrations of Engineers in the country. The areas that pull us down in the dirt in the Education statistics are the exact areas where all of the illegals go to live – the chicken farming areas. Huntsville is one of the best places to live, highest educated, highest incomes, and most diverse around. That's why we need stop allowing this - so we can grow and people will want to live in Alabama.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Well at least most white ,racist hillbillies can put a sentance together mister electrician. A forge is used to stamp metal into neat shapes , you can also forge a stream or river,and you can forge ahead , i believe the word you were straining so hard to come up with is forgery. Also notice the correct spelling of hillbillies. Oh and have you ever been to Alabama ????

      June 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      Ironically, Chuck, Huntsville (or Madison County) doesn't even have the lowest percentage of families who live in poverty – that's Shelby County (thank you, Birmingham). It's literally the entire rest of the state that suffers, and 25% of the residents of Winston County in Northern Alabama are under the poverty line. Huntsville and Birmingham are not enough to counteract the overwhelming poverty of the average Alabama resident – which is why it's 46th out of 50 states for average income.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Barry

    Too bad our current president doesn't have balls like Alabama's Governor. He's way too interested in political correctness instead of doing what is right.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa W

      I couldn't agree more.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • WookaWooka

      I'm a liberal and agree with you 100%.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lisa W

    I am so pleased to see that the Alabama Governor has taken such extraordinary steps to take care of his state. It is hard to do the right thing…it is hard to make the tough decisions, especially when not popular. I believe that this is a HUGE step in the right direction in getting our nation back on track. Everyone who receives public assistance whether in schools, welfare, social security, etc., should be required to show that they are a U.S. citizen. These are benefits set for Americans, so should become a citizen in order to benefit from their use. It is a benefit to those who pay taxes here. I believe that anyone who wants to live in the United States should apply for citizenship, pay the appropriate taxes, and become an AMERICAN Resident. Why come to the U.S. to have a ‘better life’ if that life has started out as “illegal”?
    I completely agree also that “Authorities will also be required to detain a person who they believe is in the country illegally if the person cannot produce proof of residency when stopped "for any reason."” If someone, ANY ONE, commits a crime, no mater how great or small, they should be required to show identification/proof of residency. There shouldn’t be an acceptable level of criminal activity before that question arises.
    Thank you. Thank you Alabama for doing the right thing; the tough thing. I am proud to see that you have given thought to improving the overall economy of our great nation. Not giving away things to ANYONE who has not legally contributed to the economy.
    My husband and I work hard for our family, we have two boys. It is frustrating to see the public taxes being used by illegal non-residents.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jim

    What is outrageous is that more states do not see the logic of implementing such laws. We need more elected officials with the courage and conviction of Governor Bentley and the Alabama legislature. Well done!!

    June 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Nick Rymond

    KEEP IT UP. WE SHOULD KEEP DEALING WITH ISSUES HERE AND WE WILL SEE RAPID POSITIVE CHANGE. INSTEAD OF SCREWING AROUND IN OTHER COUNTRIES BUSINESS. WE HAVE RUINED THIS COUNTRY AND OTHER COUNTRIES BY FAILING TO ADDRESS OUR PROBLEM, AND BUTTING OUR NOSE IN OTHER PEOPLES PROBLEMS. WE HAVE WASTED A TRILLION IN IRAQ FOR NOTHING. WE HAVE MADE PEOPLE HATE US FOR OUR STUPID ACTIONS. WE SEEM TO BLAME MUSLIMS FOR EVERYTHING YET WE TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR POOR JUDGMENT AND DECISIONS. IF WE MINDED OUR OWN BUSINESS; TERRORISM WOULD PROBABLY EVAPORATE. WE NEED TO FIX OUR PROBLEMS HERE. THESE PROBLEMS ARE ONES WE DEAL WITH ON A DAILY BASIS. NOT SOME TERRORIST TEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Gumby

    just say NO to MexiHO !!!

    June 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Ann

    What I don't get is , why sign such into law when you know it's going to be challenged and cost loads of tax payers money. There must be another way around this immigration issue!

    June 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Russ

      Oh, it will cost taxpayers more than just legal costs. Georgia is currently losing millions of dollars after signing their anti-immigrant law, because they can't find anyone to come harvest their crops. Apparently Americans really DON'T want those jobs... so now crops are rotting in the fields. Farms go under, more people on welfare, less tax revenue, food prices go up... all part of the Republican plan to save us!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CRISTINA

    When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself. Leviticus 19:33,34. "This is what the LORD Almighty says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place...If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place...then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless." Jeremiah 7:3-8.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. your mama

    Wow! you all are absolutely racist. you all are only horning in on Mexicans. If you guys want jobs how about you go out and actually get training in the field you're interested in instead of hating on those who know what they're doing. you want to know why a lot of mexican men get construction jobs? because they know how to do it! they learned! you Can't just go up to a job site with all your "white glory" and expect to get a job handed to you. and FYI, they do pay taxes. your government gives them special numbers called ITIN number in order for them to file. And they do! Do your research before you start spuing your hateful jibberish!!

    June 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • OutOfContext

      "they do pay taxes" - This is an often repeated lie by the far-left. The truth is *ANYONE* CAN file an ITIN ... the issues is that very few actually do. How many? No one knows. But certainly the blanket statement that all illegal voluntarily pay taxes after they are breaking the immigration laws is ridiculous. The statement "your government gives them special numbers called ITIN number" is not true. As if there is an agency which goes around finding illegals and gives them a number then tells them "Now send what you owe ... okay?". This is a fairy tale. This is not based on hate and I have done my research. .... You were just owned by my "white glory" LOL

      June 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      I guess the lawn guy has a degree in yardology from what your saying , I am a contractor and contrary to your very shallow way of thinking, no we hire them because they work cheap and can take the heat better end of story !!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
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