Ala lawmakers closer to passing immigration bill

Associated Press - May 5, 2011 10:14 PM ET

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Legislature has moved a step closer to passing an Arizona-style law that would crack down on illegal immigrants and on employers who hire them.

The Alabama Senate voted 23-11 Thursday night to pass the bill that had already cleared the House. Senators changed it to make it almost identical to a measure that passed the Senate earlier this month.

Senate sponsor Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale said a conference committee will be needed to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions. Both bills allow police after traffic stops to detain people they suspect are illegal immigrants.

The bills vary in their punishments and in how businesses must verify if workers are in the country legally.

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