It’s been in the works for over three months, but the debate surrounding Alabama’s threatening new anti-immigration law just got louder and more serious. Just when we thought Arizona’s SB 1070 law was the worst hit to the nation’s crumbling immigration policy, Alabama has managed to deliver perhaps an even bigger shock. Enacted back in June by the Alabama House and Senate, H.B. 56 had also been signed by Governor Robert Bentley. Now, with the stamp of approval from the entire Alabama state government, the law was set to take effect on September 1. However, a federal judge has stepped in to temporarily block it. U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn has blocked the implementation of the law until September 29 while she deliberates on the constitutional consequences of such a law.
The law’s extremely harsh stipulations state the following:
It would be a state crime to be an undocumented immigrant in Alabama.
Law enforcement would be given the powers to detain those they have “reasonable suspicion” of being in the country illegally.
Businesses would be subject to non-criminal sanctions for knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants.
It would also be a crime to harbor or transport undocumented immigrants, including giving them rides to workplaces.