CLEVELAND, OHIO - It has been years since Congress has passed comprehensive federal immigration laws, so many states have taken it upon themselves to pass their own.
In addition to the controversial Arizona immigration law, Georgia, Utah, South Carolina, Indiana, Tennessee and most recently, Alabama have also implemented immigration
Over the next few weeks, visa lawyer Jonathan Bartell will discuss each state's immigration law in a seven-part series. Part one of the series targets Alabama's Immigration law. Below are the requirements of the new law, which became effective in September:
- It is illegal for immigrants to solicit work.
- It a crime to transport or harbor an illegal immigrant.
- Public schools must check students’ immigration status.
- Employees must check potential and current employees status through E-verify.
- Criminalizes entering into contracts with undocumented immigrants.
- Charges penalties on people who rent property to housing to illegal immigrants.
Permits police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop if they suspect the person to be an illegal alien.
"It is the responsibility of the federal government, not the state, to pass immigration laws, " said massachusetts immigration lawyer and citizenship attorney. “It is absurd for these states to claim the federal government is not doing its job. This law is not only unfair, but it also breaches constitutional boundaries. “
House Bill 56, better known as the Alabama Immigration Law, is an outlier, said Bartell, who specializes in consular processing. Both supporters and opponents agree, no other law passed in this country includes outlines as stringent as Alabama's.
"Alabama's law is forcing people out of the state, whether they are legal or not, " Bartell said. “A state of fear and racial disharmony has been created in Alabama and their economy is suffering as a result. " Bartell is not alone in his feelings toward the law. The justice department is trying to block enforcement of the law, claiming that it encourages inequality and imposes unnecessary stress on legal residents by being examined closely by local officials.
Creators of the law claims that it mirrors an existing federal law, but the justice department disagrees and argues that there is no basis for a state to originate its own immigration laws. If the federal government wins in court, the immigration law would be overturned and will no longer enforced, Bartell said.
"All Americans can agree, immigration in the U. S. needs to be controlled, " said Bartell. “The borders need to be protected. But how is immigration going to be controlled and what is the U. S. going to do with the illegal immigrants already here? Not all of them should stay and not all of them should go. Some were brought here as children, they
grew up here and became productive citizens. They should not be sent back because their parents did not know they violated the law. “
The U. S. has certain protections that are not available in other countries, so when illegals are here, they should have some security under the constitution, Bartell said. The U. S. has the most fair and desired laws in the world, which is why so many people want to come here. This is not a sign that the U. S. is weak. It is a sign that this is a great nation.
All aliens who have issues with their status should consult an immigration attorney to discuss their case. “Immigrants should know their rights, whether they are legal or not, " Bartell said.
About The Law Firm of Jonathan A. Bartell
The Law Firm of Jonathan A. Bartell is based in Cleveland, Ohio with satellite offices in Florida, Boston, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Seattle, Houston, and North Carolina. Nationwide locations provide 24-hour attorney availability to help with immigration law and criminal issues.
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