Alabama enacts "strictest" immigration law in U.S.

08:55, June 10, 2011      

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Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on Thursday signed a far-reaching law that is being described as the strictest anti-illegal immigration law in the United States, even surpassing the controversial legislation in Arizona.

The legislation, which was approved by the state legislature on June 2, requires that police, in the course of any lawful "stop, detention or arrest," make a "reasonable attempt" to determine a person's citizenship and immigration status.

Under the law, public elementary and secondary schools will be required to determine whether students are illegal immigrants. While it will not bar them from schools, it requires every school district to submit an annual report on the number of presumed illegal immigrants to the state education board.

The law also bans illegal immigrants from receiving any state or local public benefits; bars them from enrolling in or attending college; and prohibits them from applying for or soliciting work.

It outlaws harboring and transporting illegal immigrants, renting them property, and "knowingly" employing them for any work within the state. It also makes it a "discriminatory practice" to fire or fail to hire a legal resident when an illegal one is on the payroll.

It criminalizes "dealing in false identification documents," and, beginning April 1 of next year, will require every business in the state to verify employees' immigration status using the federal electronic system. It deems invalid any contract to which an illegal immigrant is a party, if the legal party in the contract has "direct or constructive knowledge" that the other person was in the country illegally.

Opponents say the law is both unconstitutional and unjust. The American Civil Liberties Union declared its intention Thursday to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the legislation.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Alabama in 2010 has some 120,000 "unauthorized immigrants."

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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