Ala’s tough immigration could undergo changes

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Changes could be coming to Alabama’s tough immigration law that has been challenged by the courts, churches and businesses.

Its author, Republican Rep. Micky Hammon, on Thursday offered revisions that he said would make the law more workable for local governments, more enforceable for police, and less burdensome for law-abiding citizens and businesses. It also addresses sections that courts have put on hold.

The wide-ranging law requires police to determine citizenship status during traffic stops and requires government offices to verify legal residency for everyday transactions like obtaining a car license, enrolling a child in school, getting a job or renewing a business license.

Bentley signed the law last June. Since then, the U.S. Justice Department and 30 civil rights, religious and immigrant organizations challenged it in court. In the meantime, it caused both legal and illegal immigrants to leave the state for fear of arrest and caused farmers to complain about not having enough help to pick their crops.

Printed on Friday, April 6, 2012 as: Ala. immigration law to change after endless bouts of criticism