Alabama‘s governor on Thursday signed a tough new illegal immigration crackdown that contains provisions requiring public schools to determine students’ immigration status and making it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride.
The bill also allows police to arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant if they’re stopped for any other reason. Alabama employers also are now required to use a federal system called E-Verify to determine if new workers are in the country legally.
Gov. Robert Bentley said the law is the nation’s toughest, and groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center agree. The groups say they plan to challenge it.
The legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mary Bauer, said Thursday that she expects a lawsuit to be filed before the provisions of law are scheduled to take effect on Sept. 1.
“It is clearly unconstitutional. It’s mean-spirited, racist and we think a court will enjoin it,” Bauer said.