MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama House has passed a comprehensive Arizona-style immigration bill that allows police to arrest anyone who can't prove they are in the United States legally.
The House voted 73-28 Tuesday night to pass the immigration bill after almost six hours of spirited debate. The bill would cause employers to lose business licenses if they knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The sponsor, Republican Rep. Micky Hammon of Decatur, has been pushing the bill for seven years, but in the past it was mostly ignored by the Legislature's Democratic leaders. Republicans won a majority in the Legislature last year and made immigration legislation a priority.
Hammon says the bill will make more jobs available for legal citizens, but Democrats argue it would be costly to enforce and encourage racial profiling.