The police arrested demonstrators outside Congress
MONTGOMERY, Alabama – The Alabama Senate on Wednesday approved a series of revisions to the controversial immigration state law, the toughest in the U.S. against illegal immigrants on a day where the police arrested seven people who demonstrated outside the Congress.
By 20 votes to 7 the Senate in Montgomery, Alabama center (southern U.S.) endorsed the revisions proposed by Sen. Scott Beason, but differs from the changes recommended by another Republican, Jim Barton, and had been approved on last month.
Now both chambers will have to agree the final changes to a law that has harmed the productive sectors of the state.
The Alabama Senate version leaves intact most of the more controversial provisions of the law known as HB56, including the phrase “reasonable suspicion” that allows local police for traffic control question and detain people suspected of living without documents in the country. It also maintains the provision that public schools can ask new students who enroll in the school system proof of nationality or residence, which has already, provoked the exodus of thousands of children from schools in this mainly agricultural state, as alleged civil rights organizations.
“For those who want to harm our own citizens on behalf of people who are illegally in the state, that is something that I find it hard to imagine,” said Sen. Beason, instigator of the review.
Republicans are divided
The differences that divide Republicans are those related to penalties and fines on employers who hire illegal immigrants, an issue that has affected the agricultural sector and construction, according to statements by its leaders.
Even as the vote, scores of protesters shouted slogans against the law, “Yes we can,” he said in Spanish, or “Injustice to one is injustice against all.”
Montgomery police confirmed to AFP that arrested seven people who attempted to block the entrance to the state legislature.
In March a federal court ordered the United States temporarily suspend the application of two provisions of the tough immigration law in Alabama, but immigrant advocates say they still have to face a long struggle against this law, they consider discriminatory.