AG suggests immigration law changes

Alabama's attorney general is recommending that the Legislature repeal some portions of the state's tough new immigration law that have been put on hold by federal courts and clarify some others.

In a letter to legislative leaders, Attorney General Luther Strange recommended repealing a section that makes it a crime for an illegal immigrant to fail to carry registration documents.

He also suggested repealing the requirement that public schools collect information on the immigration status of students. He said both sections have been put on hold temporarily by federal courts.

Strange said the proposed changes would help law enforcement and remove burdens on law-abiding citizens.

He also recommended repealing sections allowing lawsuits to compel public officials to enforce the law. He said that conflicts with the Alabama Constitution.

WSFA 12 News attempted to reach House Speaker Mike Hubbard for his reaction and was told by his communications director, Todd Stacy, that a meeting was held two weeks ago to get AG Strange's recommendations on possible revisions to HB 56.

"Our office has received the Attorney General's memo, but Speaker Hubbard has not yet reviewed it or discussed the recommendations with Senator Marsh and other legislative leaders," Stacy said.

Stacy added that there should be no mistaken impressions that the law would be repealed. "Speaker Hubbard is focused on making our illegal immigration law work better, clearing up misconceptions and correcting any portions that might be vague or require additional definitions."


The Justice Department has sent a letter to Alabama police agencies warning them not discriminate against Latinos as they enforce the state's tough new immigration law.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, who heads DOJ's civil rights division, sent the letter last week to Alabama's 156 police agencies that receive federal funding. Perez warned that agencies risk losing funding if they violate federal policies barring discrimination. He also said DOJ officials are monitoring the law's implementation to ensure there are no civil rights violations.

the Obama administration has sued Alabama to block the law that allows local police to detain people suspected of being in the country illegally. Parts of the controversial law have been blocked by a federal judge, but police can still arrest suspected illegal immigrants.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. WSFA 12 News contributed. All Rights Reserved.)