Attorney General Luther Strange announced that information and guidance will be posted on the Attorney General’s website regarding Alabama’s new immigration law, Act No. 2011-535, and the legal challenges to the law. The information may be found at www.ago.alabama.gov. The guidance will be posted on the website periodically as it becomes available, and is intended to assist state and local agencies in their interpretation and enforcement of the immigration law.
Alabama signed what most consider the nation’s toughest immigration law to counter illegal immigration in the state. Under the Act, no employer shall “knowingly employ, hire for employment, or continue to employ an unauthorized alien to perform work within the State of Alabama.” Beginning April 1, 2012, every business must use the federal E‐Verify system to verify employment eligibility. Employees of an independent contractor working for a business are not employees of the business for purposes of the Act. A business with 25 or fewer employees may call the Alabama Department of Homeland Security, which will use the E‐Verify program to check an individual’s employment eligibility.
Some of this general guidance provided by the webpage may also be helpful to law enforcement and district attorneys, though they are encouraged to look specifically to the Alabama Department of Homeland Security and the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. The Act provides for the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to coordinate with law enforcement agencies regarding practices and methods to enforce the law, and the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission will offer training opportunities.
The Attorney General’s webpage includes summaries on the lawsuits in federal and state courts, including links to numerous documents that have been filed. A searchable copy of Act 2011-535 is posted, as is information about which provisions of the law have yet to take effect, which provisions now are in effect, and which provisions have been enjoined from enforcement by court order.