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Northern neighboring state enacts tough immigration law

This blog reported in May that the Florida House adjourned without passing an immigration reform measure. Shortly thereafter, the United States Supreme Court handed down its ruling that says Arizona could enforce its law that allows the state to take away the business license of a company who knowingly hires an undocumented immigrant. Other immigration measures are winding their way through the U.S. courts.

Now comes the news from Florida's northern neighbor that Alabama has passed what is arguably the toughest state law on immigration in the country. The sweeping measure has provisions the may lead to the eventual deportation of an undocumented immigrant after contact with local law enforcement. The law also has provisions for businesses, schools, landlords and individuals who knowingly give an undocumented immigrant a ride down the street.

The Alabama law allows local law enforcement agencies to look into the immigration status of people stopped for any reason. The law requires schools to check the immigration status of students who enroll in the institution. It also makes it a crime for landlords to knowingly rent housing to undocumented individuals.

The new law appears to address human smuggling, like a law in Arizona, however the Alabama law makes it a crime to knowingly transport an undocumented immigrant in the state.

Florida employment eligibility verification attorneys know that the use of E-Verify currently remains voluntary for Florida business when checking into employment verification of a worker. Governor Scott has made it mandatory for government employers in Florida to use the federal E-Verify system in employment verification efforts.

The Alabama law mandates all employers in that state to use the E-Verify system to check the legal status of employees.

The measure reportedly was modeled on immigration laws passed in Arizona. One such law requiring local police to check immigration status while enforcing other laws is tied in the federal courts and is expected to rise to the U.S. Supreme Court eventually.

Linton Joaquin, general counsel for the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, says of the Alabama measure, "It is a sweeping attack on immigrants and people of color in general. It adds restrictions on education, housing and other areas. It is a very broad attack." He says the measure involves all aspects of an immigrant's life.

Source: AP via Fox News, "Alabama Illegal Immigration Law Tougher Than Arizona's," 10 Jun 2011

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