Alabama lawmakers are pushing through a bill that would make it a crime to knowingly house, give a ride to, rent to or employ an illegal alien, bringing the state closer to Arizona in its view of immigrants, Fox News reports.
Criminal charges involving undocumented immigrants are always very serious and require and experienced Birmingham criminal defense attorney. Immigration is a hot-button topic and one that in Alabama could rear its head in the form of tough penalties and media coverage that could be embarrassing.
According to the news report, the Alabama Senate passed its bill 23-11 recently, a month after the House passed its version of the bill by a vote of 73-28. A conference committee will now be needed to resolve differences between the two versions.
The bills, if they become law, would require police to check the immigration status of someone they stop and suspect are in the country illegally. If their legal status is unverified, the person could be jailed and possibly face criminal charges.
The difference between the versions includes whether businesses would be held responsible for subcontractors who employ illegal immigrants. The main difference, however, is that the House bill requires businesses to use the federal E-Verify program, which allows employers to check a potential employee’s legal status.
Opponents of the bill said it will lead to law enforcement officers racially profiling drivers. Supporters argued that illegal immigrants in Alabama cost taxpayers money and take away jobs from legal citizens. The Pew Hispanic Center earlier this year estimated that Alabama may have 120,000 unauthorized immigrants as of March 2010, double the estimate for 2005, The Birmingham News reports.
If you or your business gets caught in a situation like this, you need an attorney who will fight for your rights and work to get the best possible resolution for your case.