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- 04-26-2012, 03:20 AM #1
Alabama Immigration Law
Ala. immigration law revisions headed to Senate
April 25, 2012, 6:58 p.m. CDT
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A House-passed bill making changes in Alabama's tough immigration law underwent changes in a state Senate committee Wednesday and is headed to the Senate next week for more changes.
"There is no doubt in my mind this bill is going to change," said Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston.
Last year, the state legislature passed an immigration law that proponents and critics called the nation's toughest.
Some parts of the law were put on hold by the federal courts and others caused long lines at courthouses. That prompted House sponsor, Republican Rep. Micky Hammon of Decatur, to offer a bill this session making changes. For instance, it sought to end long lines at courthouses by clarifying that people only need to prove their legal residency the first time they buy a business license or get a car tag and not when they renew them.
Hammon got his bill through the House April 19. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved it 7-3 after making some changes.
Hammon's bill sought to expand the original law by allowing police who are arresting or ticketing a driver to also check the legal status of passengers if police have reasonable suspicion the passengers are in the country illegal. The committee deleted that because of legal questions.
The committee also added a prohibition against school officials asking children about their parents' place of birth or immigration status, and it specified the changes would take effect in 60 days rather than immediately in the House's version.
Hammon urged the committee not to delay implementation 60 days.
"We feel like the changes we've made will make it easier for our citizens," he said.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said he expects the Senate to consider the bill Tuesday. Some opponents complained that's too fast, but Marsh said the legislative session in nearing an end.
"When you've got eight days left, you've got to use them to the best of your ability," he said.
The meeting occurred a few hours after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Arizona's immigration law, which includes many features in Alabama's law. The court's ruling likely won't come in time to provide guidance for the Legislature on Hammon's bill.
The Senate committee's meeting became heated, like many of the discussions over Alabama's law.
Zayne Smith, director of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, told the committee that Alabama's immigration law has brought back harsh images from the segregation era and prompted people to ask her why she lives in a "hateful state."
"I've had it with that," Republican Sen. Phil Williams of Rainbow City said. He said Smith's home state of Texas has had its problems, and she was misrepresenting Alabama.
"Don't tell me this state is less than I know it to be," he said.
Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham recounted incidents of racial profiling he has experienced in recent years and said Smith's comments were correct.
"Yes, that is our perception out there," he told Williams.
source: Ala. immigration law revisions headed to Senate | al.com
Last edited by HAPPY2BME; 04-26-2012 at 10:42 AM.U.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!
- 04-26-2012, 03:21 AM #2
Ala. Senate to take up immigration bill Tuesday
April 24, 2012, 7:25 p.m. CDT
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The leadership of the Alabama Senate plans to address changes to the state's tough immigration law on Tuesday.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said the Senate will take up a House-passed bill to revise the immigration law rather than one being pushed by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale. Marsh said the House-passed bill has had input from lots of groups and legislators and had always been the one the leadership plan to pursue.
Marsh predicted the Senate Judiciary Committee will approve Hammon's bill on Wednesday, which will put it in line for Senate debate on Tuesday. He said the Senate may incorporate some of Beason's ideas into Hammon's bill.
Opponents complained that the Republican leadership is rushing through the bill without proper study, but Marsh said the legislative session is nearing an end.
The Senate Job Creation and Economic Development Committee voted 7-1 Tuesday to approve Beason's bill, which makes fewer changes in the law than the bill Republican Rep. Micky Hammon of Decatur got passed in the House on April 19.
Hammon and Beason sponsored the law that the Legislature enacted in June 2011, but they are taking different approaches to modifying it to address concerns raised by business groups and government officials.
Beason's bill doesn't change the section of the law that allows police officers to demand proof of citizenship during a traffic stop if they have reasonable suspicion of illegal immigration. Hammon restricts it to cases where an arrest occurs or ticket is issued. Beason said that part of Alabama's law matches Arizona's law, and it shouldn't be changed until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on Arizona's law.
Hammon's bill takes out a requirement for schools to check the residency status of new students, which has been put on hold by a federal court. Beason's bill leaves that section in the law.
Beason said he didn't want to make major changes while a legal challenge of Alabama's law is pending at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta because the judges could rule that the law has been changed so much that the legal challenge must go back to a lower court to start over.
"If it got sent back down, we could go years without an anti-illegal immigration law," Beason said.
Both bills add a military ID to the acceptable forms of identification to prove legal residency. Beason's bill also clarifies a portion of the bill that requires proof of residency when conducting a business transaction with state, county and city government. Beason's bill said identification is only needed for government-issued licenses and isn't necessary for ordinary transactions, such as signing up for water service or buying a ticket at a city civic center.
Democratic Sen. Linda Coleman of Birmingham, who cast the lone nay vote, said, "I don't think this bill fixes anything."
Immigrants concerned about the 2011 law overflowed the committee's tiny meeting room, which only seats about 20 spectators.
Raul Jimenez, a Mexican immigrant who does construction work in Clanton, said he has been saving money to open a restaurant, but the law makes him feel unwelcome in Alabama. He said the Legislature should repeal the law rather than approving Beason's or Hammon's changes.
"We want to help the economy in this beautiful state, but this law doesn't let us," he said.
Ala. Senate to take up immigration bill Tuesday | al.comU.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!
- 04-27-2012, 04:42 PM #3The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato