MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama House committee has approved a Republican-backed, Arizona-style immigration bill that would both prohibit employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and would require local officials to enforce federal immigration laws.
The bill by Rep. Micky Hammon of Decatur also makes it a felony crime for an illegal immigrant to register to vote. Hammon and other Republicans had been pushing for legislation for several years, but they had trouble moving it before the GOP won control of the Legislature last year.
The head of the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Carol Gundlach, fears the bill would make criminals of operators of domestic violence shelters who take in abused women and children who are illegal immigrants. Hammon says the bill would be amended to make an exception for the shelters.