MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - House Bill 56 is now the toughest immigration law in the nation.
"Our concern is the numbers of illegal immigrants entering the state and taking jobs from people in Alabama. I've told many people this is the largest economic job creation bill the state of Alabama has ever passed," said Senator Scott Beason, the bill's cosponsor.
Part of the law requires public schools to determine a students immigration status. That means every parent will be questioned about their child's American citizenship.
Mobile County School board President Ken Megginson said the board will do what the Governor wants.
"I want the public to realize that we are not in the law enforcement business, and we are following the law. But at the same time, we want what is best for our chidren - to make sure they are safe and have a safe environment to come to and a secure place to come to," said Megginson.
Supporters said the bill needed to be passed.
However, the Southern Poverty Law Center said the immigration law is an attack on American liberties and the right to an education.
"The school is not the place for any of these types of questions to be asked, and this is going to have a very deep effect on the future residents in Alabama," said staff attorney Sam Brooke.
The Mobile County School board said it will keep the focus on educating children and leave the fight on immigration to Montgomery lawmakers.
The bill will be implemented in September.
However, because of the lawsuit the SPLC plans to file, implementation will more than likely be held off until a court decision is handed down.
Governor Bentley said the new law will pass court review.
The Governor campaigned on passing the toughest immigration bill possible.
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