America

Friends And Foes Call Alabama's Immigration Law The Nation's Toughest

As has been the case with most immigration legislation that has made its way across state legislatures, the one signed into law by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, yesterday, has proved controversial.

But there is one thing people on both sides of the debate have agreed on: It is the most restrictive law against illegal immigration in the country.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, which said yesterday it would challenge the constitutionality of the law, said the law was "more restrictive than Arizona's SB1070."

And here's how Bentley characterized the law to the AP:

Bentley expressed confidence it would withstand any legal challenges.

"We have a real problem with illegal immigration in this country," he said. "I campaigned for the toughest immigration laws, and I'm proud of the Legislature for working tirelessly to create the strongest immigration bill in the country."

The law takes effect Sept. 1. PBS Newshour describes some of the provisions in the new law:

  • Public schools will have to confirm students' legal residency status through birth certificates or sworn affidavits.
  • Illegal immigrants are banned from attending state colleges.
  • Transporting, harboring, or renting property to undocumented immigrants will be illegal.

And, if you're wondering, this year has indeed seen a lot of action on the subject of immigration. The National Conference of State Legislatures released a report last month that found that state legislatures introduced 1,538 immigration or refugee related bills. That's 358 more bills than the same time period last year.

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