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THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007
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Immigration bills clear House panel

By M.J. Ellington
mjellington@decaturdaily.com (334) 262-1104

MONTGOMERY — Immigrants stopped for traffic violations could have their vehicles impounded under a local legislator's bill.

Rep. Micky Hammon's bill cleared the House Public Safety Committee on Wednesday.

Hammon, R-Decatur, said the measure gives law enforcement officials the authority to impound vehicles of people who cannot prove they are in the country legally.

The bill now goes to the full House.

Another Hammon immigration measure awaits final reading in the House. That bill requires that people applying for public benefits show proof they are in the country legally before they receive state assistance.

The measure does not apply to federal benefits that prohibit such documentation.

Another North Alabama lawmaker introduced immigration legislation Tuesday that would place requirements on employers who hire immigrants.

The bill by Rep. Randy Hinshaw, D-Meridianville, would increase fines for employers who fail to verify an employee's legal status.

In addition to increasing employer fines from $25 to $100 per violation, Hinshaw's bill would earmark $50 of the fine for the state Department of Industrial Relations to verify identities through the federal Basic Pilot Verification program.

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