Protestors hold weekend rally outside Sen. Beason's church

A protest by opponents of Alabama's tough new immigration crackdown has ended without incident.

The Birmingham News reports Sunday ( that about 80 protesters gathered outside Gardendale's First Baptist Church where the law's main sponsor, state Sen. Scott Beason, worships.

The Rev. Franklin Tate told protesters he hoped Beason and other legislators would change the "evil and cruel" law.

Alabama's overhaul, which took effect last week, is considered by many as the toughest immigration law in the United States.

It allows authorities to question people suspected of being in the country illegally and hold them without bond. And it also empowers officials to check the immigration status of students in public schools.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)