Governor Robert Bentley on Thursday discussed proposed revisions to Alabama's immigration law. The revisions are contained within House Bill 658, which was filed Thursday afternoon.
"Over the last several months, we have worked closely with legislative leaders and various groups to clarify and simplify portions of the immigration law, and the result is a more effective and more enforceable bill," Governor Bentley said. "Not only do these revisions make the bill more effective, they also help promote economic growth, ensure greater fairness, and provide greater clarity on the application of the law. We have revised portions of the bill regarding religious and humanitarian services in a way that mirrors existing federal law. We have also taken steps to eliminate unnecessary burdens on legal residents and businesses."
"The essence of the law will not change: Anyone living and working in Alabama must be here legally," Governor Bentley added. "The federal government has failed to address the need for immigration reform, and that has made it necessary for states to craft immigration laws. With these revisions, Alabama's law will be more effective, more fair, and more clear as we address the issue of illegal immigration."
The revisions follow detailed meetings with legislative leadership, members of the business community, law enforcement, and leaders in education, healthcare services, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, faith communities, and others.
"As we met with various groups, we discussed how portions of the law needed revision so the law was more clearly understood and more enforceable," Governor Bentley said. "The revisions we have outlined accomplish the task of addressing illegal immigration while providing the proper guidelines for adhering to and upholding the law."