If the courts let them, Alabama law enforcement agencies say they’ll enforce the state’s strict new immigration law. How they’ll pay to do it is up in the air, reports the Montgomery Advertiser. The law, signed by Gov. Robert Bentley June 9, gives police, sheriffs’ deputies, and state troopers new powers to arrest individuals officers have “reasonable suspicion” of being in the U.S. illegally.
Law enforcement is required to verify with the federal government the status of a suspected undocumented worker, and “cooperate in the transfer of the alien to the federal government,” if requested. Where’s the funding? “Law enforcement agencies get a lot of unfunded mandates that they have to try to carry out,” said Derrick Cunningham of the Montgomery Sheriff’s Office. The law gives local law enforcement agencies up to $50 for fines assessed to undocumented workers arrested for being in the state and up to $250 for legal residents or undocumented workers who give or accept rides to a place of work. Opponents plan lawsuits to block implementation of the law. A federal judge Monday blocked several portions of Georgia’s immigration law, including one similar to Alabama’s that allowed officers to checked the immigration ststus of those without proper documentation.