Alabama Senate Committee Approves Immigration Bill After Testy Meeting
The committee voted 7-3 for the bill by Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, that keeps the core of Alabama’s immigration law intact but makes changes to when people are required to show proof of citizenship, the penalties for hiring illegal immigrants and when police officers can demand proof of citizenship or legal residency.
“We really feel we are very, very close to having a perfect anti illegal immigration law for other states to copy and to follow,” Hammon told committee members.
The committee held a public hearing that got testy at times as senators heard conflicting views whether the bill goes too far or not far enough in addressing illegal immigration.
“The people of Alabama want real change. They want the suffering of business owners, farmers, people of color and the economy to stop,” Mary Bauer, Legal Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said. The SPLC was one of the groups that had challenged Alabama’s law in court
Bauer called the bill a weak attempt to water down the state’s existing law and make it more defensible in court. But Bauer said there were still multiple problems with the legislation.
“If this bill passes with these additional glaring unconstitutional provisions, we will file additional litigation against the state of Alabama,” Bauer said.
Elois Zeanah, president of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women, said the bill will weaken Alabama’s existing law and urged lawmakers to make fewer changes.