Analysis of HB 56, "Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act"

June 13, 2011

Summary of major provisions: HB 56 is an extraordinary attempt to regulate every aspect of the lives of immigrants in Alabama. It will deter children from going to school, deny people public benefits to which they are lawfully entitled, and interfere with their ability to rent housing, earn a living, and enter into contracts. It also requires state and local police officers to detain and investigate people based on a “suspicion” that they may be undocumented immigrants, thus inviting racial profiling and raising concerns about prolonged and erroneous detentions. It creates a range of new immigration-related crimes, with draconian penalties attached. It even authorizes the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to hire and maintain its own immigration police force. These and other provisions of HB 56 are unconstitutional. A shocking throwback to the days of de jure segregation, HB 56 attempts to make a class of individuals non-persons in the eyes of the law. If it goes into effect, it will deny immigrants and Alabamans of color their most basic rights.

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