HB-56 FACT SHEET: Combating Illegal Immigration

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The Big Picture

This bill is intended to stem and reverse the flow of unauthorized aliens into Alabama through strengthening the immigration enforcement authorities of state and local governments. Provisions of the bill are specifically designed to deter the infiltration of illegal immigrants by prohibiting practices in the public and private sector that currently encourage undocumented workers to locate in Alabama.

What does this bill do?

  • Requires law enforcement officers to attempt to determine the immigration status of a person who they suspect is an unauthorized alien of this country. Determination is affirmed through valid state or federally-issued identification.
  • Provides that illegal aliens convicted of a crime are to be fined and turned over to federal immigration authorities upon their release from imprisonment.
  • Makes trespassing by illegal aliens a Class A misdemeanor, which becomes a Class C felony if the subject is found in possession of contraband or a deadly weapon.
    • Class A misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to one year in jail, and a fine of up to $6,000.
    • Class C felonies carry a penalty of 1-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
  • Makes the smuggling of illegal immigrants a Class B felony, and authorizes law enforcement officers to stop drivers suspected of such activity.
    • Class B felonies carry a penalty of 2-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.
  • Prohibits the pick-up and transport of unauthorized aliens to work sites (Class A misdemeanor).
  • Prohibits unauthorized aliens from applying for, soliciting for in a public place or performing work as an employee or contractor (Class A misdemeanor)
  • Prohibits the transport, concealment, harboring and housing of unauthorized aliens if a person recklessly disregards the fact that the alien is illegally in the U.S. This does not apply to persons acting in the capacity of a child or adult protective service worker, a first responder, an ambulance attendant, or an emergency medical attendant.
  • Prohibits a business from knowingly employing an unauthorized alien.
    • Employers proven to violate this prohibition are subject to probation on the first offense, and revocation of state and local business licenses upon repeat offenses.
    • Knowingly filing a false or frivolous accusation against a business would be a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of three months in jail, and a fine of up to $500.
  • Requires employers to verify the legal status of potential employees with either the federal “E-verify” program or a system to be designed by Alabama Department of Homeland Security.
  • Makes registering to vote or attempting to vote by an unauthorized alien a Class C felony.
  • Requires those applying for and receiving public benefits to provide proof of legal presence in the U.S.
  • Makes entering or attempting to enter into a business transaction with the state by an unauthorized alien a Class C felony.
  • Makes knowingly manufacturing, reproducing or selling of false identification documents, or committing vital records identity fraud, a Class C felony.
  • Provides that verification of lawful presence for state-distributed public benefits, including Medicaid and CHIP, shall be made through a verification program operated by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
  • Requires State government entities providing state or local public benefits to submit annual compliance reports to the Senate Government Affairs Committee and the House Government Operations Committee.
  • Authorizes the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to enforce these immigration laws, and promulgate rules necessary for the implementation of this act.


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