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. mystery

    Rules are not tyranny, no rules is anarchy. Reasonable people have a right to reasonable laws. We make laws to help the citizens of this nation, not to help people in all other nations. People are seriously confused if they think we can not build healthy civilized reasonable safe living conditions for all Americans.

    June 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Balls

      When did we give up freedom for security? I don't like being discriminated against because I look mexican. I highly doubt a Caucasian immigrant would be subject to such discrimination.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raj, AB, Canada

      Well said. Americans have, over the years gotten with the all important words, "freedom" and "rights" that you all need a law to implement the prevention of something illegal. Sad

      June 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. suesark

    Read an article the other day about how Georgia can't find anyone to harvest their crops. Who wants to work all day in that relentless heat??? We all know the answer to that. Good luck to Alabammie!Good luck to those of us who occasionally want to buy produce at the grocery store!

    June 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • jp

      Then require those on unemployment or able-bodied welfare recipient to work those jobs for their compensation.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Georgia had this problem before their Illegal immigration bill was even signed, let alone enforced. Please read more than just one article before forming your very limited perspective.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Rogers

      Maybe some of those on welfare should work in the fields or is that just for Mexicans, too degrading?

      June 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • jake

      Farmers want to pay them $5/hr. and expect anyone but illegals to work?? All states need to enact such laws. It is a CRIME to be here illegally, get the f... out.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam Drake III

      We have a whole prison system full of workers. Let them earn their keep.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I agree with Sam

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

      I agree with Sean...I believe the whole ride thing, is meaning bringing someone across the border into American. We are not freakin backwoods. Arizona was the first state to pass a law close to this one and it has one of the biggest Hispanic populations.

      June 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jevil

    Is there any need for this in Alabama? I mean really? Alabama? What racial diversity does this state have besides redneck and Black?

    June 9, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Monica

      it doesn't. I am from Alabama I know. But, remember Alabama isn't for the foreigner.....that's for sure...

      June 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jp

      Why do you think Alabama enacted it? If any state, it would be them.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beagle

      Ignorance is bliss I guess.

      Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee have high numbers of Illegals. I grew up In California and now reside in Tennessee. When I first moved here 20 years ago there were no Mexicans except my baby brother who doesn't even speak spanish. Now the place is flooded with them, and they don't speak English.Why? I have no idea other than the fact they have opened up some pretty good Mexican food places.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • alamandy

      Alabama's Hispanic population grew 145 percent between 2000 and 2010, the nation's second-largest percentage growth in that time, according to analysis of U.S. Census numbers released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

      http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/03/alabama_hispanic_population_gr.html
      Google is your friend.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • haveaclue

      You are a total moron if you think Alabama is nothing but Rednecks and Blacks. Sounds like you a very well traveled, highly educated individual. NOT!!! Go crawl back under your rock and leave the comments to people that have a clue. I assure you we have more than our fair share of illegal aliens in Alabama.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Don

      The illegal immigrate population has exploded in Alabama. Business across the state have been busted and apartment complexes did not ask for any ID when renting, and the crime has gone up with more illegals involved. Yes jevil in Alabama. The new law is harsh yet it because the population of illegal has gone unchecked. But everyone have forgot that there are laws such as the one passed in Alabama already in placed but not enforced at the state level but federal. Now states are beginning to put the law in the books for local authorities to handle laws already at the federal level.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      Literally millions of illegal Mexicans. Everywhere you look. Unless you know what you are talking about, keep your DA mouth shut. Good advice.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • erica

      Jevil thare more than just blacks and rednecks in Alabama. Maybe if you came here you would know.

      June 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. KyleGlobal

    I certainly don't support illegal immigration. I believe we should reform our immigration system, and I believe that new, legal immigrants are vital to keeping and obtaining the best and brightest minds of the world for America. However, these laws are reactionary examples of draconian, authoritarian tactics based on emotion and fear rather than rationality and really trying to solve the problem. Papers, please? That used to be a joke like Americans used to make fun of dictatorships. Well, congrats, Alabama for bringing the joke to our shores. And how many people in Alabama carry around (or even HAVE) a US passport? And how many who support the government being able to ask anyone on the street to prove their citizenship are against a national ID card as in intrusion of government? Does anyone think anything threw anymore?

    June 9, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Your driver's license is proof under this law.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • LeBourreau

      I disagree. Whenever I have travelled in Europe I have been asked on occasion to show my passport and I didn't whine or complain, nor did I feel discriminated against. I'm in THEIR country, I will respect the laws they have there. I'm tired of non-citizens deciding what laws we should have on OUR books. I understand that the price of goods and food will increase due to fewer illegals, but as those prices go up, so will the wages of those that produce those goods. It causes the entire economy to grow...

      June 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. YES YES YES

    This is the best thing I've heard in a long time!!! Why should my children suffer in a broken down school system because funding are diverted to teaching programs for illegal immigrants... especially those MEXICANS! Why should I pay higher property taxes to support illegal immigrants? We should protest all of the policies and budgets allocating funding to activists groups like the ACLU!!! It is a disgrace that they are able to sue and collect money... yet also able to lobby for hardworking American's tax dollars!

    June 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      Unless you are a Native American you are here illegally. Please head back to the UK, Poland or wherever you came from and give the land back to whom your ancestors stole it from.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam Drake III

      Glenn, check your facts. Your "Native Americans" didn't come from here, they came across the land-bridge after the last ice age.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cedar Rapids

    if the person cannot produce proof of residency when stopped "for any reason."
    So someone can be stopped for any reason and asked to show their papers? Where are we living again?

    June 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duane W

      When you are stopped for any reason you are required to supply an office with a driver license or state ID, so how is this any different now? It has always been the law

      June 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nora

      Germany circa 1933

      June 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      I am pretty sure if you are a WASP in Alabama you do not need to worry too much about being stopped.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Clay

    Thank you, Alabama!!! Right on!!!

    June 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. YES YES YES

    because of the tons of mexicans in California... that's the reason California is flat broke! Alabama is heading in the right direction

    June 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Bring this law to Florida please!

      June 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Blagojevich

    @F...Y.. Alabama
    Don't worry with your buddies (illegals) we all soon gonna go down in flames. And no boycotts needed.
    We are just trying to survive, that's all.

    June 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Caryn

    Its about time and that is great for Alabama. Now if only Texas would do the same............Thank you for having the guts to do this!

    June 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rosa Parks

      You don't live here you don't know what is going on....

      June 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bernaba

    I'm not sure I agree with all of this law, but it's a start since our federal gov't doesn't have enough backbone to protect American's rights and privledges from alowing those illegally in our country to take those privledges away. I agree we don't want to start acting like the old USSR making everyone carry 'papers' around. But to start penalizing merchants for hiring illegals, and if illegals get arrested deport them. But I also question it shouldn't be cast upon the school system to lead in the weeding out of illegal parents and kids. Unfortunately that should be done long before these kids get to the school systems.

    June 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rosa Parks

    Go ahead Dr. Bentley, shrink the economy even more in your state. You are not saving any jobs, you are destroying your own economy....

    June 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Duane W

    I am so glad the States are taking a stance on this. The Feds want to drag their feet and do nothing, even though the law says they have too. People here in this country need jobs and as citizens should have first crack at them. I am sorry but if an illegal wants to stay, they should go through the process like every other immigrant. My grandparents had to do it, so should they.

    June 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nora

      It was a very different experience for your grandparents, today, unless one has money, lots of money, there are very few ways to be allowed to enter the states legally, I would know, I am a naturalized citizen and I went through the process, the very expensive and time consuming process! And options are very few, especially from any type of third world country!

      June 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Nora that is entirely untrue. My wife is a naturalized citizen and she has spoken quite often about her experience. It is true it took time and there were cost involved. But nothing like “unless one has money, lots of money, there are very few ways to be allowed to enter the states legally” that you suggest. She and her family are by no means well off. (that is one of the reason they wanted to come here) Fact is people want to just walk into the country without putting any effort into it. She also supports this law. It is her opinion (one I share) coming here illegally is an insult to everyone who did it the right way.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Nora, it SHOULD cost a lot of money. Becoming an American is a PRIVELEGE, not a RIGHT. By going through the process THE RIGHT WAY to become an American, that shows the rest of us that that person wants to be in America for the right reasons. Not to come and siphon the system and send all of their money back home.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RRB

    Just gives me yet another reason to never step foot in that state! Got to love the south...they are soooooo forward thinking there (heavy sarcasm)!

    June 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guester

      yET ANOTHER POITIVRE FOR THE LAW.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nora

    What a load ... I will give a ride to anyone I see fit, I don't ask for status first, and I will boycott any state that will detain me if I cannot produce proof of citizenship. And to deny a child an education, really, that's how the crime cycle is perpetuated, undereducated youths with no way out = CRIME. This is all very 1933 Germany to me! SCARY, very scary!

    June 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Good, hopefully all 50 states will do this and YOU can move to Mexico.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raj, AB, Canada

      I agree with Robert! Dont wait till all 50 states implement - move now!

      June 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I also agree with Robert

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