Late last night the Alabama State House of Representatives in a 73-28 vote passed an anti-immigration law that will allow police officers to hold people suspected of being in the country illegally.
If there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ that someone is here illegally an Alabama police officer can demand proof of citizenship and while waiting for proof someone can be detained in jail. In addition it would be a crime to provide housing, rent to, give a car ride to or employ an illegal immigrant.
The bill sponsor Republican Representative Micky Harmon is hoping illegal immigrants will ‘deport themselves’ if this bill becomes law. The bill now goes to the Alabama Senate.
The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that the number of unauthorized immigrants in Alabama have doubled since 2005 to 120,000.
Opponents of the measure sounded off with the same concerns as Arizona’s opponents of SB-1070: What constitutes ‘reasonable suspicion’ and fear of racial profiling. Racial profiling is an especially sensitive topic in this state that has a long history of civil rights violations.