Boothe: New bill may cause controversy

Published 9:33 pm Friday, March 18, 2011

The Alabama Legislature is setting sail upon the high seas of political controversy as lawmakers consider a tough Immigration Bill.

The bill would prohibit employers throughout the state from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and would require local law enforcement to uphold and enforce federal immigration laws.

Representative Alan C. Boothe, representative of the 89th District, said the Immigration Bill would be tough and would most likely incite debate from lawmakers on both sides of the issue.

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“Some people are wanting the immigration laws to be tightened and others are not,” Boothe said. “We’ve got pros and cons on both sides of this bill, so I think it’ll be a real controversial bill as it makes its way through the legislature.”

Articulating the mindset of the individuals behind the Arizona-like Immigration Bill, Boothe said that it all came down to jobs.

“The argument is that immigrants are taking jobs away from citizens, Americanized citizens,” Boothe said.

“On the other side of that, businesses are saying that they don’t have the means of checking every person’s papers to verify their eligibility to work in the U.S. legally.”

The bill would make it a felony for businesses to hire illegal immigrants, which would essentially eliminate any excuse a company may have for not researching an applicant’s legal eligibility to work, according to Boothe,

The representative said it is time for immigration laws to be strengthened, regardless of what the opposition may say.

“I think that we need to have some tightening up of the immigration laws and we need to look at the situation real close,” Boothe said.

“We don’t need to have American citizens losing their jobs to people that are in this country illegally.”

Boothe continued by saying the issue is not about whether illegal immigrants are trying to better themselves and their families or take jobs away from Americans, but it is more about following the laws of our land.

“We have a long history in this country, and there is a procedure that people can go through to become a citizen of this country,” he said.

“It’s set out and is very clear about what it takes and the steps people will have to go through to become an American citizen. If you want to become a citizen of this country, then there’s a way to do that. If you just follow those steps, then you will, in fact, become a citizen of the United States of America.”

Boothe pointed out that any person’s attempt to reside within our country’s boarders and work, without following the steps to become a naturalized citizen, and then they are in direct violation of citizenship laws.

Boothe said he expects the bill to be up for debate Tuesday, March 22, and looks forward defending the laws of our land.

“The bill requires some tweaking and will be a big issues under discussion within the next few days,” he added.