Passport applications increase after immigration law passes

Published: Jul. 16, 2011 at 2:18 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2011 at 2:19 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - At Montgomery's main post office on Wynton Blount Boulevard, Bubba Adams is no stranger to passport processing.

"It's picked up a considerable amount," says Adams.

In fact, you could almost call him an expert. He's been especially busy since the Alabama legislature passed the new immigration law requiring businesses to verify their immigrant workers' legal status.

He believes with the threat of being detained by authorities, many immigrants are getting passports for their U.S. born children--to the tune of "20-30 families or people per day."

The post office typically sees about 300 passport applicants a month.  But that number has skyrocketed.

"496 were completed in June, of which 58% were minor children," says Montgomery Postmaster Donnie Snipes.

He says 2/3 of those children were racial minorities. While not saying specifically which minorities, Adams has seen mostly "Hispanic...a lot of the children."

While no one knows which applications are in response to the immigration law, Adams says one thing is certain.

"I think it hit us all at one time. I don't think we were expecting that drastic, but at times, it was pretty hectic."

Adams says the rush has slowed down a bit. But, for families with multiple children, the expense can be high--especially since most passports cost $100 dollars or more.

Officials in North Alabama predict the passport trend will continue and say some immigrants have even started going back to their home country themselves for fear of being deported.

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