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Alien-free Alabama?
Hammon submits package of bills to crack down on unlawful immigrants in state

By M.J. Ellington (334) 262-1104

MONTGOMERY — Rep. Micky Hammon sees his bills aimed at illegal immigration as a package and predicts that if the entire group becomes law, illegal immigrants will start leaving Alabama.

Hammon, R-Decatur, said three of the bills are from Gov. Bob Riley's Plan 2010.

They include HB 286, which denies state economic incentives to employers who hire people who are in the country illegally; HB 287, which requires people applying for or renewing professional or commercial licenses to prove legal status; and HB 288, which requires immigrants 18 or older to prove they are legally in the country.

The House Republican Caucus included HB 288 in its 2007 legislative package.

House Minority Leader Mike Hubbard said the legislation would also apply to in-state tuition rates for public universities.

Hammon said HB 288 is similar to a Colorado law that denies non-essential services to adults but not to children. The prohibition does not apply to life-sustaining medical care or other exceptions in federal law.

"No one wants to be ugly to children," Hammon said. "This bill provides for children, but adults have to provide proof of legal residency to receive the benefits."

HB 286 would put into law requirements that are now policy for contractors who want to do business with the state.

Hammon said HB 287 would deny state licenses to immigrant professionals and commercial business operators who cannot prove they are legally in the country. When they cannot operate without such licenses, he said, they will go elsewhere.

Three of Hammon's other bills are identical to measures he introduced in 2006.

HB 289 would let law enforcement officers impound vehicles of immigrants driving without a valid driver license, current vehicle insurance or proof of legal entry into the United States.

Under HB 290, illegal immigrants would forfeit property when stopped for traffic violations unless the property were life-sustaining.

Under HB 291, illegal immigrants who voted or tried to register to vote, or others who assisted in registering immigrants, would be guilty of a felony and face a fine.

Hammon also introduced a bill that prohibits "pass-through" appropriations from one government agency to another. But Hammon's HB 109 has exceptions, including those that allow transfer from one agency to another for the same program.

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