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. Clay

    Boo!!!!!! Boo!!!!!!!!! This is another low law we have done though out are history stop the hate on immigrants. Cause if the first thing that pops out in your head mexicans. You are following the sane path of hate on one group that we have done this is no different then when we spread hate on the Irish, and ect. We have so many other problems we need to face. I'm sure if they keep them self busy on these types of laws which are not hard to pass then they can look busy or to busy to deal with the real issues that the American people have been hurt by for years and the new social security problem that we face in a couple of years lets deal with that before we find are self unready.

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

      It gets worse. Even if an immigrant came here illegally, his/her children are US citizens if they were born here. What do you do, then?

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

      Racists use the term illegal aliens and Mexicans interchangeably.

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

      This has nothing to do with race/ethnicity but simply the legal status.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • theyarefu

      That was the plan of anarchy by corrupt federal government officiala to destroy the country, that suceeded.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • kev

      you are an idiot send them back they are here illegal mybe you live in mexico

      June 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Please learn the English language or we will deport you too.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • stta

      Get it strait. Probably most US citizens like immigrants they just don't like illegal immigrants. Being the law is only after the illegal immigrants, quit whining about how wrong it is. Entering a country illegally is wrong so all the law does is go after illegal behavior.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prep4theworst

      I believe there is no mention of race in the law.It is targeting people who have broken the law from enjoying the benefits that taxpayers enjoy. I applaud Alabama for doing this why should our government give benefits to people who have entered here illegally and then use our resources without paying taxes.
      And please do not compare people who have come into this country illegally to the immigrants that came through Ellis island in the later half of the 19th and early 20th centuries....they did it LEGALLY.

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

      1st of all let's remember this is about illegal immigration. Legal immigration is not a problem. We as citizens of a nation should all be totally against illegal immigration and for legal immigration. Illegal and legal are not the same thing. 2nd point is that if you are in this country illegally you are still here illegally after you have a child. Only the child is a citizen. The illegal parents have the choice to leave the child with a U.S. citizen family member or take the child back with them to their home country. The child can return as a U.S. citizen when they are 18 years old if they wish. There is no such thing as an anchor baby. 3rd point is that the laws apply to all illegal immigrants – if they are white, yello, black, red or purple. Illegal is illegal.

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

      You follow the law, Todd. Or do you just follow the ones you agree with?

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

      You right but the baby boomers have 50-70 million people About to get out the work force within 4-7 years all about to recive social security. That number is huge compared the the illegal problem we have. And it is not the job for any american to discourage on the desire to better thire life. And if you say that we don't do that then we do we have the brain drain going on becoming American is for the rich or very high educated. As American I believe that no body should be pointed out cause they don't make alot of money or don't hold a phd. There is a 8- 9 year wait to even get your papper work looked at.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Let's make a new law that says people who are born in this country to illegal aliens are themselves automatically non-citizens. Who cares about the 14th amendment?

      June 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bill

    I am going to make a special trip to Alabama to see something I have never seen before. Pale faces picking that cotton. Woohoo, one for the history books.

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

      That's not the issuie, is it Bill .

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

      No, but I still can't wait to see it. Unintended consequences my friend..

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

      Why would you visit alabama, unless you have trailers to sell.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Corpus

      You should come to Texas, plenty of us white boys (aka pale faces) pick and farm cotton. We are called cotton farmers. In Robstown, South Texas, their mascot is the cotton picker, and yes he is white too.
      Fkn Rac ists.

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

      My family is from Corpus Christi. My family was there before it was called Corpus Christi. I know you can work hard. You had to in order to compete with those hard working Mexicans. Problem is your brothers in Alabama are soft. You should travel around a bit to see just how soft they have become. Might want to send some of your kind up their for some basic training in picking.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bridget

    Come on Texas-our turn!!!!!!

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

      That law would hurt Texas.

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

      Amen

      June 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Thank you Bridget! There are plenty of legal, law-abiding Hispanic Texans whose ancestors have lived in Texas for 300 years, and they HATE all the illegals that are here screwing it up for them.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Thank God I am a Democrat

    Hey @ Stacy, why don't you tell us how much they are costing us. You can't can you? That is what I thought. Next time you come on here trying to blab about costs and whatever else why don't you back it up with the facts you claim exist. What are we just suppoed to take your word for it? I am not saying in disagreance with immigration reform but I have yet to see any factual data to suggest that the cost of illegals is draining us as you suggest. Frankly I am inclined to believe they have done wonders for our economy and have yet to be truly proven otherwise. If you get rid of all the illegals prices go up. Hotel rooms more expensive because legal residents won't clean them for $4 an hour. Landscaping goes up. Goods go up because warehouse salaries increased. So on and so on. Show me facts that prove otehrwise instead of regurgitated Fox news BS. Have a nice day.

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

      Why not take a look at the welfare system and you do the numbers yourself

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

      You're a certified id10t!

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

      Welfarerecipients are US citizens. In fact, I don't think it is possible for a non citizen (legal or otherwise) to go on welfare.

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

      Amen to the facts. I agree with you I have seen no report or facts to back up the Republican claims. I agree we need reform but we don't need to behave like or become like a third world country,

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

      One word to support the fact that illegal immigration is a drain on state resources and crushes an economy...CALIFORNIA!

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

      So many of you are out of touch with reality it's unbelievable and thanks for the name calling, that too goes along with being uneducated.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Healthcare cost doesnt go up at all does it? All the illegals who use ER like a Dr office and hospital whenever they need it, never see a bill and if they do, they dont pay it, we middleclass tax payers pay it. So no, they are a god send for us. There are always people who will take low level jobs, It will force those companies to pay a little more, and maybe charge a little more. All that does is keep the money going around.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Z

      @ Thank God You are an Idiot... You must not live in CA... 30-40% of our state prison population are Illegal Immigrants. Here is some math for you dbad!!! 200,000 inmates x 30% = 60,000 at a cost of 60K per year.. $3.6 Billion per year just to lock them up (not counting court costs). there are roughly 8 million illegals in CA. Any estimate on how much health care costs for 8 Million people?? Education??? Welfare ??? If they are such a great contributor to the economy, then you can break out your checkbook and pay for all of the above mentioned services. You will also be broke like the state of California.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Depeche85

      Illegals are not eligible for Welfare, unless they are refugees. Permanent Residents and Citizens are eligible.

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

      Yes, I have looked at the welfare numbers. Not sure why that matters. You need to be a citzen to get welfare.

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

      If we have to spend a dime taking care of an illegal, it's a drain on a system that can't even afford to take care of our own citizens.
      And how sick is it that you want to keep them around because they can be abused and do twice the work while getting paid less than half what they should be? That's just sick. Actually, it sounds a lot like slavery.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brigitte

      So, Democrat, you're saying you're all for slave labor and for employers to pay under the minimum wage?? That's brilliant!!

      Let them come here LEGALLY just like I did!! I jumped through hoops to be here legally, I've paid out of state tuition... You think I, as an LEGAL immigrant think it's fair when I had to pay my dues and now am paying taxes and social security and they profit from it without giving back to the system??

      If you want to pay their way, that's your choice I guess, but I have enough trouble paying my own bills without having to contribute my hard earned money to ILLEGALS!!

      And what part of the word illegal don't you understand??

      June 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • stta

      Illegal immigrants only benefit those that hire them due to lower wages or lack of workers to hire. If it is really a lack of workers then those that want them should work on laws to bring in immigrants legally and sponsor them. I have seen people hire them for work they won't do themselves and especially not at the same pay rate. Then after or sometimes within a generation the illegals have enough clout and their children are citizens so they will no longer work at the same crappy jobs for crappy wages so you need a new group of illegals. This cycle has to stop and yes it means some of you people who have been getting wealthy off illegals will have to earn your money legitimately.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thank God I am a Conservative!!

      WOW, WOW , WOW! SO since it is cheaper and since no one on this page has given you proof of the costs, then it is ok to have illegals running all over the place and NOTHING being done about it. They DO cost us a lot, NO I dont have the number handy but, go to your local emergency room on a Friday or Saturday night and see how much it is costing us. Go to your school and see how many kids are in that are not officially from this country. Here in Pa they are raising our taxes higher and higher every single year because of the number of childeren and programs in the schools. Not all of them are illegal but, lets look at the ones that are. There parents are making half decent wages but because they are not in the system, they are not having to pay for the education. Now Im not saying they shouldnt be in school but I am saying, I work hard for what I earn so legal childeren in my community can have a good education. NOT someone milking the system. Oh and dont get full of yourself, the illegals KNOW what they are doing and KNOW the loop holes and do NOTHING to correct it! The Fed has billions of dollars going to these groups to provide for them yet there is NO oversight into whether it is being abused or not. This law is what we need. If you dont like it, become an immigrant somewhere else and see how hard it is to move to some place other than the US!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • stacy

      Hey "Thank God I'm a Democrat". I know exactly what I'm talking about. I work in the Insurance industry. I see people with no social security number, no insurance, no permanent resident seeking medical attention and other social services...guess what, about 99/9% of them have a heavy accent. Also, all of you that think illegal are doing anyone one of us any good by performing the service and doing the jobs that Americans don't want have no business sense. If businesses/industry couldn't find people to work for $2.50 an hour, they would have to either increase pay and benefits or go out of business. Business would have to increase the cost of the services or products, so it would come down to this....does the US want to pay more to have products made by citizens or are we willing to have illegals come here and work in service industries or picking crops for hardly any wages and draining our social services. I'm from Alabama, and after a storm the small town I was raised in is full of South American persons that do not speak English and just happen to be riding in the back of pick up trucks....I wonder if they're illegal or are they just enjoying a ride in the 102 temperate. Thanks God someone is not worried about being a Democrat or Republican and seems more concerned with just being an American. Way to go Governor! I'm an Independent.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vicki

      This is certainly a subject everyone sounds passionate about. I just don't believe these drastic laws are needed. There has to be a better way. I am a 5th generation immigrant and unless you are Native American your lineage also began in another country. I can't believe how exaggerated this problem has become. At least that is the way I see it. These people want a better life for themselves and their families, exactly why our families came to this country. Our politicians want you to believe the Mexicans are our problem. Anything but admit they have and are screwing us all.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Vicki

    Alabama leaders once again embarrassing open minded, kind Alabamians. I can see nothing good coming from this law, I don't believe this state has the money to enforce the law and what the heck happens after you round up a bunch of immigrants? Who pays for processing them and transporting them back to their country of origin? We will feed and lodge them , including children, until they can be transported instead of letting them work on a farm or plant trees and the other menial task they perform that we don't want to do. The thought of a child being put through that kind of experience enrages me and it should enrage everyone. They are going to come here are we to let them starve or die due to the elements. I want nothing to do with treating another human being like this. This is America not South Africa. What happened to the Christian Nation..........were are the Christians? Enough said, I feel personally defeated by this meanness. Please search your hearts and if you are a Christian ask what would Jesus do?

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

      Vicki, I agree with you and during the next election(s) we need to make this kind of stuff the issue.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      The Federal Government pays to deport them – it is the responsibility of the Federal government. Cheaper to get rid of them then to keep them.

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

      Thanks Jim, Sometimes I feel like no one is listening or thinking for that matter. The things our leaders are doing and the crazies that think it is good astound me.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Please secede and so the National IQ goes up.

    We all know the inventor of the toothbrush was from Alabama. If he came from a northern state it would have been called the "teethbrush."

    June 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. thedoc

    I want to see the statistics on how many white people were asked to prove their residency after being stopped versus brown people. I used to live in Bama – but geez i ain't going back to such backward states again.

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

      I blame Canada

      June 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      Well I assume the police will ask for your drivers liscense and insurance. That would prove your citizenship just like it has always been. And if an illegal has a fake i.d., does that pass through the police scanners with no problems? I would assume a fake ID would be picked up on by the scanners but I don't know for sure. So, I really don't think your argument stands.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I'd love to see the stats if they did. It would be a huge gap.

      Maybe people who wish to enter the States illegally should try doing it in Russia, France, or any European country. Their repspective governments would kick you out as soon as they found you were illegal. Period.

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

      All of you patiots in the states trying to keep Mexicans out should line up, holding hands, and stretch from California to main, along the border, and keep everyone out. What better way to serve your country. Crime would probably go down as well, because the rednecks would finally have something to do.

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

      Mark, it sounds like Russian would be to your liking. I myself prefer a free country where people are treated fairly.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. aidan murphy

    Never before has sweet home alabama sounded so welcoming and good. Simple is it not,, your ILLEGAL, so your not LEGAL, get in line and wait all the people are

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

      This guy must have been valedictoian at an alabama school.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mike

    Talking about illegals on welfare costing the government.....as far as i know ....any kind of welfare...u have to show the birth certificate......all the banking leaders who bought the downfall of the economy are US CITIZENS.......they are the biggest crooks.......they get bail outs......

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

      You don't know much. Illegals have fake I.D.'s and get welfare. No one in social services does much if anything to verify nor is anyone required to prove citizenship before they give out welfare.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Larry

    alabama currently ranks somewhere between 45th and 48th in education. I'd think an infusion of illegal aliens would raise their ranking. Jethro and Clem might even learn something from them.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Corpus

      Never been to bama have we? Bla ck or wh ite, they is all friendly in bama. They just hate foreigners (kind of like how foreigners overseas hate Americans).
      Oh, I forget, other countries can have tough immigration laws and hate foreigners, but Americans aren't allowed to for some reason.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • NPhxAz

      Well Larry, Az graduates were once ranked well above the nation academic average in the 70s and 80s but began eroding in the early 90s. Twenty years and countless non English speaking students later our kids have regressed to the dismal spot immediately in front of Alabama's scrapings at the bottom of the scholastic barrel. Alabama needs to advance the best interests for Alabama all that they can- not Mexico's.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Reallybro

    We violated the rights of the Native Americans who were first, stole their land, and killed them. And now we are getting mad when it happens to us.....

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

      You are right. It is always difficult to point the finger at ourselves.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Corpus

      Once again, those who do not study their history misinterpret often. The indians stole from and murdered each other way before the whi tes or bla cks or mex icans ever came to the Americas, just like the dutch and spanish bought their (bla ck) slaves from other Africans who kidnapped them in raids or wars. No european went inland to capture bla ck slaves, they just waited at the coast for other bla ck africans to bring them to 'em.
      Keep blaming whites for everything bad in the world if it makes you feel better, but it ain't reality.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BE

    '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."'

    So the governor is giving the police officers great power to check anyone they don't like then? Because they can stop you "for any reason". They can judge by color, because that's so much easier. Stop all colors except white. I wonder if Russians can get away with this law.

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

      The Canadians are plotting as we speak.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jennifer w

    Just when I thought our state of alabama could not get any more backwards, they have proven me wrong...

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

      I feel the same way Jennifer. It is a sad day for Alabama. Old, white, narrow minded men at it again.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Corpus

      When you are jewish and hate your own people they call you a 'self hating jew'.
      What do they call it when white people are prejudiced against other white people?

      Liberal.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vicki

      You are right David. That sounded very prejudiced. I don't hate old white men. I just wish we could elect people who are more open minded and less fearful. Apparently that is not possible in Alabama and it makes me sad to know the majority of voters in my state agree with this type of law.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MiketheElectrician

    Hmm, I still haven't seen a whole lot of people lined up at the local car wash or corn fields to try to do the work of immigrants. Go ahead, ship all the illegals back, then when the price of beans and apples goes through the roof, people will be complaining. People who think that illegals will steal their jobs or those of their kids sure must have a low bar of the type of career their kids will get. I am sorry but working the assistant manager position at the local McD's or bean sprout picker is not a career to aspire to. When an illegal gets an aerodynamics engineering job over a citizen, then lets talk.

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

      @ MiketheElectrician... The price of food is going to increase no matter what. Simply supply and demand. More people with less access to food = Higher Food Prices!! China & India have more than 2 Billion people, many of whom are hungry!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Big Jilm

    And the source of the problem is ignored as usual. How about the demand factor? Illegals wouldn't bother coming here if there weren't people willing to employ them. Go after the ones employing them = problem solved. I see nothing in this bill that goes after those who would rather employ illegals for next to nothing over paying Americans. You short-changers created this problem; now lie in it.

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

      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.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
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