Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)
- 04-21-2012, 10:03 PM #1
Alabama Senate passes immigration bill
Alabama Senate passes immigration bill
Published: Friday, April 22, 2011, 5:30 AM
By KimChandlerThe Birmingham News
MONTGOMERY -- The Alabama Senate on Thursday night approved an Arizona-style immigration bill that would allow law enforcement officers to detain people they suspect of being in the country illegally.
Bill sponsor Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, said the state needs to address illegal immigration because the federal government has been unwilling or unable to do so.
"I think the state is just letting people know we are going to do our best to aid in enforcement and try to begin to deal with the issue of illegal immigration," Beason said.
"With thousands of illegal immigrants in the state working, that's thousands of jobs Alabamians could be holding," Beason said.
Beason and other supporters of the bill said the state needs to send a clear message that it will address illegal immigration. But opponents questioned the legality of the bill and said it would lead to racial profiling.
The bill would make it illegal to employ, harbor, rent to or give a ride to an illegal immigrant with reckless disregard of the fact the person is in the country illegally.
The bill would require police officers to verify a person's immigration status from anyone they stop for a traffic violation or other infraction if there is "reasonable suspicion" the person is in the United States unlawfully. The officer would have to make a reasonable attempt to verify a person's immigration status, and suspected illegal immigrants could be detained.
Beason said those attempts would include tapping into state and federal databases to verify a person's identity -- such as verifying a person has a driver's license if they didn't have it with them.
Critics of the bill argued it would lead to the harassment of people who may look or sound different.
"SB256 is un-American because it will subject people to harassment and arrest simply because others may perceive them as foreign," said Olivia Turner, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama.
Turner said minorities who were victims of crime would become reluctant to come forward to police.
"You are going to be out here profiling everyone," said Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro.
Beason defended the bill, saying an officer could stop a person only for a legitimate offense and not based on suspicions about a person's immigration status.
"It has every precaution in it to make sure people are not harassed. Very, very simple for law abiding citizens, I don't think their lives will change at all," Beason said.
Beason hit opposition from some of his fellow Republicans on a provision that would authorize the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to hire officers to help enforce the law.
Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville, called it "the dawn of big government Republicanism." His effort to strip the language from the bill failed 14-15.
Beason said the provision is for proper coordination and enforcement.
Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, put an amendment on the bill to exempt religious organizations transporting members to and from religious functions. Bedford said Catholic and other churches had asked for the exemption.
"God does not decide if you are legal or illegal. He decides if you are saved or unsaved," Bedford said.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill that has many of the same provisions as the Senate bill. However, there are differences. The House-passed bill requires businesses with more than 25 employees to use E-Verify, an Internet-based system to check the immigration status of workers. The Senate bill requires the use of E-Verify only by businesses that do business with or get grants from the state.
Beason said he didn't think it was fair to small businesses to mandate the use of E-Verify.
Gov. Robert Bentley said he asked the sponsors of competing immigration bills -- Beason and Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur -- to put the best parts of both bills into one bill.
"They need to get together," Bentley said, adding that he met with Beason and Hammon about a week ago. "I suggested that they get together, work out their differences, find the best parts of both bills and put them in a final version," Bentley said.
"We need a bill that's not only strong but one that's defendable," Bentley said. "If it goes to court, we'll have to defend it."
Beason said the bills are similar and he hopes legislators can come to an agreement.
"It's not like they are apples and oranges. They are both tangerines, so I think we can work something out," Beason said.
The Pew Hispanic Center earlier this year estimated that Alabama may have had 120,000 unauthorized immigrants as of March 2010, double the estimate for 2005.
- 04-21-2012, 10:17 PM #2"God does not decide if you are legal or illegal. He decides if you are saved or unsaved," Bedford said.
More blasphemy from the Catholic Church. Heresy, actually.
Bedford needs to repent. He is breaking Commandments 6, 8, 9, and 10 as he advocates for illegal immigration, illegal aliens, and the spiritual laws both are breaking.
Last edited by HAPPY2BME; 04-21-2012 at 10:48 PM.U.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!