Gov. Bentley, Sewell react to recent immigration law rulings

Published: Oct. 18, 2011 at 2:39 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2011 at 5:46 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - "We will continue to appeal the parts that are enjoined temporarily," says Governor Robert Bentley.

"It's really hurting our image," adds Alabama District 7 Congresswoman Terri Sewell.

Two conflicting opinions...from two top lawmakers.  Governor Bentley stands by the state's immigration legislation.

"We'll work through this, we're going to get through it," he says.

Congresswoman Sewell thinks there's another way to go about it.

"I really hope Alabama's legislators will rethink our immigration policy."

Sewell believes the law sends the wrong message.

"We've spent a long time trying to improve our public image when it comes to racism and when it comes to inclusion."

But Bentley says the parts of the law he believes will be permanently upheld are not about racial profiling--rather protecting jobs.

"The ones that allow the states to determine how we regulate businesses," he adds.

Many state lawmakers say Alabama's legislation will enforce what the federal government isn't.

And Sewell admits she gets the hint.

"Clearly we in Congress need to take up a national comprehensive immigration policy."

Some folks have mixed feelings about the law and what should be done.

"They're just going to jump from state to state and it's not doing any good. It's just going to make a lot of people angry," says Alabama resident Roman Smith.

"I don't think it sheds a bad light on the state. I do think that it is a good thing. It is going to provide the state citizens with jobs," adds resident Carrie Keil.

"I don't have a problem with any immigrants whatsoever as long as they come here legally. That's what our country was built on was different nationalities and different backgrounds coming here trying to find a better life," says Eric Staggs.

Governor Bentley admits he wasn't surprised parts of the law were temporarily blocked.

Sewell doesn't believe congress will talk about a national policy until after the upcoming presidential election.

More rulings regarding Alabama's immigration law are expected.

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