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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    Alabama House approves revisions to immigration law

    This is from the liberal Birmingham News, notice that article only quotes the Democrats.

    Alabama House approves revisions to immigration law

    Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012, 6:24 PM Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012, 6:25 PM

    By Kim Chandler -- The Birmingham News
    MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- The House of Representatives this afternoon voted 64-34 in a largely partisan vote to approve a rewrite of the state's controversial immigration law.

    The bill keeps the core of the 2011 immigration law, but makes changes lawmakers said will make the law easier to enforce and less burdensome for legal citizens and businesses. Republicans largely voted for the bill and Democrats against it.

    "We want to discourage illegal immigrants from coming to Alabama and prevent those that are here from putting down roots," sponsor Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, said during debate.

    Legislators who want the law to be repealed entirely mounted a filibuster but were ultimately unable to stop a vote. Republicans voted to cut off debate after a little more than five hours. "It is wrong. It is immoral," Rep. Mary Moore, D-Birmingham, said of the immigration bill.

    Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, said immigration is a federal problem and that the 2011 law is causing heartbreaking choices for illegal immigrants with American-born children. Other lawmakers said the bill was an "open invitation" for racial profiling.

    "It's still a bad bill. You can't dress up something that wasn't good from the beginning," Rep. A.J. McCampbell, D-Linden, said.

    But Rep. Jim Patterson, R-Meridianville, a proponent of the bill, said illegal immigrants are taking jobs from roofers, brick masons and others because they are willing to work for less money.

    "I'm not against Hispanic people. They are good people, hard working people but they are taking jobs," Patterson said.

    "There are people out of work today because their jobs have been taken by people who work for less money," Patterson said.

    Changes to the bill include clarifying that police officers cannot question people about their citizenship during roadblocks and traffic stops, adding language to try to safeguard church ministry activities and clarifying that people don't need to show proof of citizenship for mundane transactions such as tag renewals and getting their water connected.

    The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate.
    Alabama House approves revisions to immigration law |
    Last edited by Jean; 04-20-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Immigration law revisions pass House after lengthy debate

    By Dana Beyerle
    Montgomery Bureau

    Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 6:29 p.m.

    Opponents of Alabama's immigration bill watch the House action from the viewing balcony during the lawmakers session at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery Thursday.

    MONTGOMERY | After more than five hours of debate and an hour of reading the lengthy bill, the House on Thursday, passed a new bill that revises the controversial 2011 immigration law, known as House Bill 56, on a vote of 64-34.

    Since its passage last year, HB56 led to lawsuits, public protests and intensive media coverage.

    After a federal court struck down parts of the law, Gov. Robert Bentley and others who supported the bill called for revisions.

    The 2012 revision was sponsored by Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, the author of the original HB56, which passed largely along party lines last year. The vote Thursday also fell mainly along party lines.
    Hammon said he sponsored the original law because he believes the federal government has failed to prevent illegal immigrants from entering Alabama. He said that illegal immigrants take jobs away from residents and use public benefits at taxpayer expense.

    He said the 2011 law resulted in many illegal immigrants fleeing Alabama for less restrictive states.

    “I'm convinced if we don't make these changes, the illegal immigrants will continue to come back,” he said, adding that HB658 strengthens penalties for violating illegal immigration laws and make the law simpler to understand for law-abiding citizens, municipalities and businesses.

    Hammon said revisions contained in House Bill 658 will limit the number of times identification must be provided by citizens conducting simple government business such as renewing a driver's license or vehicle registration. One of the criticisms of the original law was the burden it placed on people to prove their citizenship when conducting government business.

    “This is to make it easier on our law-abiding citizens,” Hammon said. “We have changed some language that deals with some of the judge's rulings.”

    Most of the opposition to the revised bill came from black lawmakers who said they especially didn't like one section of the bill that would allow police officers to check IDs of passengers in a vehicle if the driver receives a ticket during a simple traffic stop.

    “This encourages profiling,” said Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa. “I don't believe my constituents want me here to support a bill that allows them to be arrested for a traffic stop.”

    The bill would indemnify law enforcement officers but not police chiefs, sheriffs, or heads of law enforcement agency against lawsuits based on their actions during traffic stops.

    Hammon said the bill aligns with current law on reasonable suspicion involving passengers of a vehicle during a traffic stop. “This language will mirror the other laws we have in the state and fall in line with what law enforcement officers do now,” he said.

    Rep. A.J. McCampbell, D-Gallion, also opposed the bill.
    “It is not who we are as Americans and not who we are as Alabamians,” he said.

    Officials of several religious groups maintained their opposition to the law, saying the law made it a crime to be a good Samaritan.
    An organizer with Greater Birmingham Ministries said the bill still doesn't protect the religious community or individuals. “We continue to seek full repeal of HB56 and believe HB658 would only make a bad law worse,” said the Rev. Angie Wright, pastor of Beloved Community Church.

    The amended bill contains a religious exception allowing a church or church-affiliated organization to be able to provide goods and services regardless of the recipient's immigration status without fear of prosecution.

    The bill also prohibits “safe cities” by allowing civil actions against city or county officials who seek to nullify the law by ignoring it or working against it.

    The bill requires employers to check for citizenship status through the federal E-verify system, which compares employee information against data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration.

    Tuscaloosa News
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  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Added first article above to the Homepage:
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