Agencies adjusting for law changes

Published 6:46 am Thursday, December 15, 2011

Local government agencies continue to make adjustments as different officials place holds on Alabama’s anti-illegal immigration law.

“At the end of September when it went in to effect, we were complying with the law,” said Troy Probate Judge Wes Allen. “But right now everything is on hold as far as the immigration act.”

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson issued a preliminary injunction against Section 30 of the law which forbids state and local agencies from engaging in “business transactions” with undocumented aliens. The injunction came after Thompson said a lawsuit challenging Section 30 was likely to succeed on its merits.

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As of now, no one who lives in Alabama is required to prove citizenship or immigration status to apply for or renew vehicle or mobile home registrations. Proof is also not a requisite to apply for or renew a driver’s license or business license.

Allen said that the act didn’t change much at the Pike County Probate Office because people were required to prove proof of residency in Pike County to register their vehicles. Most, Allen said, accomplished that by showing a driver’s license, which is also a form of citizenship status.

If the injunction is lifted, residents could also use a birth certificate, passport or military ID to prove citizenship. Allen applauded his staff for keeping up with policy changes and helping residents adjust to the back-and-forth requirements.

“We’re just playing it day by day to see what happens,” Allen said. “We’re sworn to uphold the law and that’s what we’re going to do.”