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

soundoff (797 Responses)
  1. A.S.Mathew

    The Immigration laws are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Govenement, but some of the State Governors are
    acting more powerful than the President of the U.S. We shouldn't promote illegal immigration. By deliberately
    crucifying the brown skin people for the economic crisis in the U.S. is not going to solve the problem, but indeed it is
    going to get far worse in the days ahead.

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

      Spoken like someone that doesn't live in a border state and can sleep just fine at night knowing 11 million illegals in their country because their kid doesn't share a classroom with them. If states are usurping Federal jurisdiction its only because the Federal government has been shown to be inept. I don't recall anyone stating illegals are the source of economic woes, but they are a drain on our education & medical systems. No one is crucifying "brown skin people", if there happens to be more brown skinned illegal aliens in this country then thats just a matter of fact, it appears to me however, that this law would apply to a red headed Scottsman too so your argument is moot.

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

      It has nothing to do with skin color, it's about respecting the law. This is also about enforcing the law that obama will not. It is the states right to take this matter into their own hands. Expect jobless claims to decrease, especially after obama is kicked out of the white house in 2012.

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

      Come on, get a life. No one objects to people immigrating to this country. We just expect it to be legally. So you want us to pick which laws to enforce? Why do you want to give illegals a free ride?

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

      The fact is, we can barely take care of our own now because of the economic crisis. Why should we pay for another country's problem too?

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

      I got the rope right here.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • pdd3517

      Seriously? "Brown skinned people"? This law is for ANYONE that is illegally in this country – "brown", "white", "yellow" or otherwise. I'm sorry you don't agree with states taking matters into their own hands. If the US Govt isn't going to take a firm stand and actually help the states (real border patrols, real punishments), what recourse do the states have other than to pass these laws? None – they have no other choice. I came to the States LEGALLY. My parents did everything they were SUPPOSED to do to come here LEGALLY. I am a naturalized CITIZEN of the US. No one should get a free ride. They are breaking the law and are criminals. Any first world country has these issues (look at Europe, Australia, and even India), not just the US. It is a HUGE burdeon on those of us who end up PAYING for these illegals. My children, with their 3.5 GPA's (who are US Citizens) are having a hard time completing their college education because of the rising costs of education/reduction of classes due to money being taken from higher education to pay for programs for illegals. The US Govt has even reported that the state of California pays in excess of $11billion for the education, health care and incarceration of illegal aliens. And people wonder why the state is BANKRUPT??? I'm sorry I am not as compasionate as you are, but you obviously DON'T live in a state or area where there is a large population of illegals. Live in an area that is having a major negative impact and then we'll talk.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. itsabouttime

    Good. I think every single state should adopt this law. I am sick and tired of these people who are here illegally living off my tax dollars and stealing my jobs. Send them back where they came from and their kids too. Then if they want to come back they can do it the legal way.

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

      It's always been illegal to enter the country ILLEGALLY ! It's time to prosecute thoes public officials made rich thru their fraud of enforcement and malicious ignorant excuses.

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

      Which jobs would those be? The ones Americans don't want and think they're too good to work? That's always been a very weak argument.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • inagreement

      I couldn't agree more. If the Federal Government would do their job the states wouldn't have to take matters into their own hands. Key work here is illegal !!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • And now, for something completely different

      Stealing your jobs, eh? Surprised to hear that someone actually aspired to clean toilets, serve others food for next to nothing, or sell carnations on the side of the road. Please...

      June 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nicolas Olivier

    Red meat for the Right Wing. It will cost a fortune to implement, and it will also violate ordinary citizen's right to privacy. But the worst thing is if it does successful eliminate illegal migrants – costs will rise considerably. Don't believe me ? Wait and see.

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

      The right wing is the right way concerning this matter. It won't cost anything to implement, it's been in place for awhile. This doesn't violate anyone's privacy, I have to send a copy of my birth certificate for a license, and passport. We want legal immigrants, not illegal.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • wanda j. brown

      Even though laws like this are pure Red Meat for the right wing it will cost us more in the end. I read an article about
      farmers in the Georgia are now having trouble finding people to pick fruit. The farmer said he increased the wages
      but no one applied. Out of several hundred he would normally hire for seasonal picking he only got 11 people hired.
      Consequently he will have to use machines instead of people which in many cases slows down the production and
      can bruise the fruit. That will cause much HIGHER prices for all of us. And just for the record he said NO AMERICANS
      would apply for the jobs. So Mr. governor of Alabama what will you tell the farmers when they complain that they
      had to raise their prices because they have no labor to pick the fruit? What I am saying is there is a better way to do
      this without hurting people and splitting up families. We need immigrant labor and like it or not there are certain manual
      labor jobs that Americans can do, but WON'T !!!!!!

      June 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    It is about time one of the Southern States take such measures. If California, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi passed similar or tougher laws, we could secure the border much better and get more Federal Assistance from the National Guard. We need to police both the immigrants coming and going and American Citizens doing the same to fight the war on drugs and human trafficing.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. George K. Muumbo

    This law is DOA. The intent of the spirit behind this law is bad and the spirit of the proposed law is in itself distasteful, and tastes of pure hatred. I am sure the U S Supreme Court and the Justice Department through the Attorney General will move with swift and deliberate speed in requesting the urgency of an injunction.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • William Styker

      So you like it in the ear?

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

      Yeah, cause that worked when Arizona did it right? lol. I love the people on here trying to make this a racial or hate related issue. There are 11 million people in our country illegally and you want to give them all a puppy? What is so distasteful about protecting our citizens rights and enforcing immigration laws already on the books?

      June 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corey

      More like ALIVE on arrival. You can't stop these laws from happening, thinking you can is silly. Citizens win, illegals lose.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ottergirl

    Please note – this law is for ILLEGAL aliens. Not those folks who came through channels. Rational people don't object to immigrants who arrive in this country legally and who intend to be productive, law-abiding citizens. What we DO object to is paying for health and educational benefits for illegals when we can't provide the same for our own children. We object to having our culture diluted because our laws now forbid us to celebrate AMERICAN traditions, holidays and values. We object to becoming genericized so as not to "offend" folks who come to this country and demand services, breed children that are "automatic" citizens, and become a drain on our society – and then complain that they are not being treated fairly.

    The heroic immigrants that came through Ellis Island and San Francisco built this country. No one objects to those who come here, learn to speak English, work diligently to understand our history and customs, apply for citizenship and give something back to the country that welcomes them by working hard and sharing their culture with us, but not demanding that we stop sharing ours.

    The key word is ILLEGAL. People who come to this country without going through the proper process are committing a crime. The consequence of crime should not be free health care, free education and free housing – it should be deportation, just as when a citizen of the United States commits a crime, the consequence is jail. We are not the welfare program for the world. We can't afford it.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mississippi

    First off,most illegal immigrants don't even have a driver's license or insurance, that would be enough to prove your a citizen. And with E-verfiy, even if they give a bogus license, they will catch you!!!It's about time we put a stop to just anyone coming onto our soil without proper paperwork, this should also include the people coming from Cuba. Doesn't matter where your from or what color your skin is, if you weren't born here, then you should follow our laws and rules and ASK if you can come in!!!

    June 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. david

    when I was a kid the America I knew thought like this:

    The New Colossus-

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    "Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

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


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

      To Theyarfu: The statue of liberty.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • sweet_genius

      David, read about Ellis Island and come back when you know what you are talking about.

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

      And just what did they do when they got here? Ellis Island. Some weren't even allowed to leave there. They had a mental ward set up for people thought to be a little off, and EVERY ONE OF THEM had to apply for legalization.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. just another problem

    This is a great law. I have no problem with immigrants coming to live here and becoming citizens, but they have to do the right steps to become citizens( not simply walking over the boarder into this country). They should not be given free hand outs, just for crossing the boarder.

    June 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. William Styker

    I LIKE CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

      me too.

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

    This should surprise no one, if the Cherokee and other great tribes were stripped of their land, murdered and even their children were taken away in an attempt to wash the Indian out of them, what can illegals expect? Now we just use laws to justify these inhumane acts...

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

      How would Americans be treated if we were invading Mexico? Maybe you should read how Mexico treat illegals there. You really live up to your name.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tim

    Reply to skyder. I could be stopped whilst jogging (after showing my middle finger to the cop : ) or I could have forgotten my wallet at home. Also, having a driver's license doesn't prove citizenship, you can get it under various immigration statuses which could have expired ... My point is that a simple driver's license is not sufficient proof but I don't want to be questioned about my citizenship when stopped for any reason by gestapo ..

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

      Well then move to a country where you are not questioned. What's that? you can't think of one? I wonder why that is???

      June 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. aaron

    I just don't like what America is becoming. It's getting to the point where everyone is guilty of something until we prove otherwise. We are all treated as suspects and scanned before we are allowed to get on a plane. People on welfare are assumed to be drug addicts until they take a drug screening and prove that they aren't. Immigration laws like this make suspects out of anyone with brown skin. Everywhere they go now, every time they are stopped, they have to prove they belong here. I have friends who are half native Hawaiian and are forever being mistaken as Hispanic. Are they now suspect every time they are pulled over, change houses, enroll in schools? Illegal immigration is a problem, but I feel like the laws people are embracing to deal with it are shortsighted and reactionary. I think that's the thing.

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

      Hear, hear ...

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

      There are existing laws that addressed that, the current wealthy corrupt public officials illegally used their discreation to embezzel the country.

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

    I will say what everyone else thinks. Mexicans are destroying the U.S. They destroy neighborhood's when they move into them in mass. They destroy the fun of going to a sporting event. They destroy our economy with the many ways they leach from the gov't. They are often dirty and don't make an effort to assimilate. Give me an illegal Asian any day. They assimilate and are clean no matter how "poor" they are. And they don't even make an attempt to get gov't assistance like Mexican's do. And when I say Mexican, I mean any Latin orgin country. They're all the same. Am I a racist? No. I just tell it like it is. If the truth offends you, then you're part of the problem, not the sollution.

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

      sounds like what the white man did to the great native tribes!

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

      Hey hypocrisy. Actually there was equal or worse violence perpetuated when one' tribe' attacked and raided another 'tribe' killing, torturing and stealing babies and women, long before and long after 'white man" came to this continent and organised the land into a Union.
      Like there being no greater exploiter of a Mexican then another Mexican, there was no greater enemy of a so called indigenous 'tribe' then another 'tribe'. And by the way, I am 1/8 Cherokee which makes me legally an indigenous American. My people were violated by greedy individuals and corrupt gov't officials as much or more then any other 'tribe', Cherokee was not merely a 'tribe' we were a Nation. And while Anglo's eventually became the dominant ethnic group in this America, My people assimilated and understand the ways of hording masses and the dangers they present. You can't turn back history, but you can prevent history from reoccuring. As an American, I don't want Mexican's and their culture to take over this nation so Yes, I resist and will continue to resist the invasion of Illegal Latin American's. I speak English and was born this way. I value my culture as an Anglo with Cherokee blood and I will be damned if hordes of illegal's will take over this great land. I make no bones about it and you have no clue about what you think you know, hypocricy. Is this country not worth fighting for? I think it is. The past is the past, let us American's not repeat what my American ancestors went thru. Two wrongs don't make a right. So bring it on. I applaud the bill Alabama passed to save America from itoday's invading hordes.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mahesh

    Very good! If all state governments follow Alabama, the United State will be better place to live and work. Good Luck and Congratulation to Alabama Government for this brave step. Mahesh – A proud American. God Bless my America. I will always fight for my country. I love America.

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