The now-infamous Arizona anti-immigrant law SB1070 kicked off the current wave of anti-immigrant legislation last year. This year Georgia, Utah, South Carolina, and Alabama jumped on the “show me your papers” bandwagon with copycat legislation.
Immigrant rights advocates say Alabama’s law is the harshest. It gives police the right to stop and investigate anyone they “reasonably suspect” of being undocumented—in other words, an open invitation to racially profile.
The legislation also denies immigrants state medical aid and unemployment benefits. It forbids individuals and employers to hire, harbor, rent property to, or even give a ride to undocumented immigrants. Public schools must check the immigration status of children when they enroll.
One town, Allgood, announced that all water customers must have a state picture ID on file or “you may lose water service.”