More angst over newly-passed immigration law in Alabama

PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - Jose Perez is a well known restaurant owner in Prattville and just talking about the new immigration law gives him the feeling of an upset stomach.

"In fact, I'm nervous about it," Perez said.

Perez doesn't pull any punches. He thinks the new law is mean, wrong and unnecessary.

"I feel like this will take us back to the 1960s with the black and white issues," Perez said.

Proponents of the new law disagree.

They say it was needed. It bans illegal immigrants from working in Alabama and gives police the authority to verify immigration status during traffic stops.

Supporters say it will also help prevent illegals from cheating the system.

Jose Perez doesn't deny there are illegal immigrants but despises one aspect of the law.

"I help a lot of people and I'm concerned that if I help an injured illegal they'll find me and get me in trouble," Perez said.

Not true according to Senator Bryan Taylor.

Taylor was not a co-sponsor of the new law but feels there is quite a bit of exaggeration going on.

For example, Senator Taylor says the law is not intended to punish anyone including churches from helping an illegal immigrant. The prosecution would have to prove the 'good Samaritan' intended to cover up for the immigrant.

Jose Perez employs more than 20 people at his two restaurants, most of them are Hispanics, and according to Perez, they're also legal.

That includes Danyel Dias. Dias says he has nothing to hide but that doesn't mean he's not worried.

"Most of everyone who comes over here want to work," Dias said.

A controversial law, two sides of a flaming issue, one that seems to show no sign of going away anytime soon.

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