Alabama’s tough immigration reform law has been challenged in federal court by opponents who argue that many of its provisions are unconstitutional, according to published reports.
The legislation, widely considered the strictest in the nation, was signed into law last month by Governor Robert Bentley. The Alabama law includes a number of controversial measures, including bans on knowingly driving illegal immigrants and renting them property. In addition, it includes a provision allowing police to try to determine a person’s residency or citizenship status during a routine arrest or traffic stop if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is an immigrant.
In addition, many Alabama farmers claim the law will drastically affect the state’s agricultural industry. Under the legislation, commercial farmers would be required to replace migrant workers with employer-sponsored guest workers who will likely threaten the region’s immigrant-dependent agricultural economy.
Jeff Helm, a spokesman for the Alabama Farmers Federation, told ABC News that many farmers fear the law will intimidate their workers and lead to a mass exodus from the state.
“Farmers are law-abiding citizens,” he said. “They want to do what is right.”
Similar immigration laws passed by other states have also been challenged in federal court. Provisions of immigration reform laws in Arizona, Indiana and Georgia have been temporarily suspended, while a court blocked the Utah law in its entirety.