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Alabama immigration law sends undocumented workers to Florida

It doesn't seem that immigration laws in Alabama would have much impact on Florida. But a recent feature by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting shows how a new immigration law in Alabama has sent a steady stream of illegal workers across Florida's borders.

The new Alabama law requires police officers to check the immigration status of any people they stop for driving violations and detain or arrest them if the officers suspect the people may be in the country illegally. If these people are unable to produce papers stating that they are in the country legally, police are ordered to take them into their stations for processing, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting says.

The law also requires educators to gather immigration information on their students. According to the news story, the first school day after the law went into effect, 2,000 Hispanic children did not show up for their classes.

Fleeing from this tough new law, many undocumented workers are now moving to Florida, which does not have such a tough measure on its books.

Critics of Alabama's law are quoted in the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting story as saying that such piecemeal immigration laws result in huge populations fleeing their homes and, often, overwhelming nearby states. This is what appears to be happening today in Florida.

Illegal immigration continues to be a difficult issue in the United States. With many states crafting their own immigration laws, it seems that answers to life decisions are becoming a murkier, rather than clearer for undocumented residents. For this reason it is important that anyone with questions regarding an immigration issue contact an experienced attorney.

Source: Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, "For Florida, Alabama's Immigration Enforcement Has Unintended Consequences," Ralph De La Cruz, Nov. 9, 2011

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