Alabama Tries To Make Bad Immigration Law Worse

Under national scrutiny and with a pending Supreme Court review of similar legislation in Arizona, an Alabama House committee voted to revise and strengthen the state’s controversial immigration law.

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee approved changes to the “papers please” bill on a party line vote with the bill going to a full floor vote in the House of Representatives as soon as Thursday.

Among the changes that passed is a provision that specifies that an officer can quiz  and possibly detain vehicle passengers about their citizenship. Another proposed change allows officers to question and possibly detain a suspected undocumented immigrant when issuing a traffic citation or making an arrest. The current law allows the questioning to commence only during traffic “stops.”

Now an officer could question passengers in the car about their citizenship if the officer is issuing the driver a ticked or arresting the driver, provided the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that passengers are undocumented.

The expansion has civil rights advocates up in arms and lawmakers in the state wondering just how far anti-immigrant activists plan on taking their crusade.

“My 16-year-old daughter should not be asked for her identification because I was speeding,” Rep. Napoleon Bracy, Jr., D-Prichard, said.  Bracy said he is afraid the provision will encourage racial profiling of “black people and brown people”  and that minorities could see themselves treated differently during traffic stops.

“If you were a white person that was a passenger in the car, you wouldn’t be subject to this. That is where the racial profiling comes in,” said Bracy, who is black.

The committee also approved an amendment to the bill that would protect churches and not prevent them from “ministering to or providing material goods or services to all individuals, regardless of immigration status” as well as language that requires foreign workers and tourists to demonstrate their lawful presence during all business transactions with local governments.

Related Stories:

Condi Rice Blasts GOP Anti-Immigrant Bias

Anti-Immigrant And Anti-Choice Laws Popping Up In Same States

3 Bits Of Background For SCOTUS Immigration Arguments

Photo from ElvertBarnes via flickr.


Bill Reese
Bill Reese5 years ago

Hello Hope, I think you misunderstood the challeges Arizona faces and how they will handle it. The writer of this blog keeps calling the Illegal Ailien an undocumented immigrant, which is a lie and a play on words. Arizona wants the illegal to produce a picture ID if he is an immigrant and that ends all the challenges. It is very simple to get a picture ID from the DMV, not a drivers license but ID. The same can be used for voting. You say Americans do not carry papers, we all carry papers, SS card, Drivers Lic, student card, and the list goes on and on.

The only good raising the taxes would do for America would give Mr. Obama more money to spend. He spends over a billion almost every week! He just sent a billion and a half to the Brother Hood in Eygpt. Of Course the Brotherhood is so loving toward Americans that is why they want all White Americans dead. Obama spent several billion on Green energy and what do we have to show for it, at least two huge soar panel companies bankrupt within a year of receiving their loans (gift) and several high corporate officers very wealthy today. Sad, but true and we all know who will get a lot of the money not found in the Bankruptcy, Mr. Obama for his election.

Hope S.
Hope Sellers5 years ago

This is rediculous. US citizens don't carry citizenship papers so how can they demand papers from anyone?

Really if they want to address the problems of immigration as well as the deficit why not just make everyone have Social Security, get at least minimum wages, and pay taxes. Or is that over simplification? And not to be forgotten, make all income taxable and raise the top tax bracket back to what is was 30 plus years ago before they gradually reduced it from 50% to what they want now at 25% with all the loopholes intact.

Bill Reese
Bill Reese5 years ago

States like Arizona are fighing these idiots every day "They also do nothing to address the serious issues of druug cartels and human smuggling rings which are where the truly dangerous people can be found." It is our Federal Government under Mr. Obama that is sueing the states for enforcing the Federal border laws and providing guns under the guise of "Fast and Furious" that has gotten two border agents killed and Obama's henchman Mr. Holder tried to lie his way out of it until all the e-mails between him and O turned up and proved that it was Obama and Holder that provided weapons to cartels.
Do not blame the states as they today are the front line of defense of hold the smggling rings and cartels at bay and protecting you in whatever state you live.

Bill Reese
Bill Reese5 years ago

There are no illegal immigrants, there are a lot of illegal ailiens. My wife is a legal immigrant and it cost us over $ 3,000 dollars to bring her into the United states and she is contributing to our community. Illegals remove jobs from Americans, illegals do not pay taxes or S.S or State industrial insurance, Illegals have a high percentage of crime and they put their children into our school system without contributing any revenue.

It is time our stupid fake President woke up and started doing his job of enforcing our constitution and helping the states to free up their revenue for the people that live in that state and stop the nonsense of sueing each and every state trying to protect not only its people but the American Citizen of all other states also.

Just as I went through the US immigration system to being my wife into America,so can all these illegal ailiens go home and apply for entrance.

Mercedes Lackey
Mercedes Lackey5 years ago

Steve R, who has repeatedly demonstrated his ignorance of US law, is an immigrant from South Africa, the former hotbed of apartheid.

Quelle surprise.

Beth K.
.5 years ago

Steve R does the same thing every time, he tries to make the conversation about the definition of the phrase, and totally ignores the big picture. Which is that the republicans have attacked Latinos so much, that they will lose their vote. Which is a big fricken deal.

Jennifer S.
Jennifer S5 years ago

Why am I not surprised at Steve R.'s right-wing knee jerk reaction to this and to virtually every other human rights issue? This guy is poison; he is dangerous! Every post is a snarky, sneering, insult, and I, for one, am sick of it! He posts opinions that are uninformed, lack any evidence of the thought process, and have never, NEVER been positive or supportive. Poor guy-he must lead a very twisted and lonely life! Climb back into your hole, Steve R.!

Christopher C.
Chris C5 years ago

Steve R...your still "ILLEGAL" idiot...go back to S. Africa!

Lourdes Z.
Lourdes Z5 years ago

I am a Canadian permanent resident. I am scared with the idea of having someone stop me just to inquire about my immigration status. It's not just about having the right status. If I happen to visit the USA for any reason, even if I entered legally, anything can be constructed as "reasonable suspicion" starting by my Hispanic appearance. The only thing missing here is giving me a yellow star or similar tag to pin to my lapel when I go through immigration at the border or at the airport so that everyone knows if I am legal or not.

Suzy D.
Reverend Suzy D5 years ago

Wiil this law be enforced by men in long black leather coats and trilbies ?