MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Our state has certainly been receiving a lot of national attention lately. The talk of the country is the most recent ruling by Federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn allowing major portions of Alabama's immigration law to be implemented.
Law enforcement personnel will now be verifying a person's citizenship and immigration status during routine traffic stops or arrests, if "a reasonable suspicion" exists that the person is in the country illegally.
Local school officials will now need to follow a provision in the law that demands K-12 schools track the immigration statuses of enrolling students.
State and local employers have until spring 2012 to be in full compliance with the federal E-Verify system allowing employers to check the citizenship status of each employee.
The debate is heated on both sides each with long lists of reasons this law does or does not make sense. The challenges now before us in Alabama since it is law are ones of perception and execution. Perceptually Alabamians don't want to come across as mean spirited. This law was not brought about to harass illegal immigrants but to enforce legal residency as a pre-requisite for participation in citizenship and all that it offers. Execution wise - law enforcement, schools and employers are in for a challenging road ahead as they shoulder the responsibility of enforcing and complying with the new law.
Buckle up I'm afraid it's going to be a bumpy ride.
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