While Alabama is still waiting on a judge’s decision to fully implement its new, common sense immigration enforcement law (modeled after the Arizona SB 1070 law), its governor isn’t just sitting around waiting for approval from the courts to enforce immigration laws.
On Monday, Governor Robert Bentley introduced a new state-developed electronic system that enables law enforcement to verify U.S. citizenship quickly and easily. Law enforcement only needs to enter a driver’s license information into the new system, aptly named AL-Verify, and within a few moments AL-Verify tells the police officer whether the document is valid or not. The system is live and helps law enforcement officials enforce the laws passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.
The beauty is that whatever the judge decides when it comes to the new Alabama immigration enforcement law, it will be difficult to prevent the state from using AL-Verify.
Opponents of the new immigration enforcement law (such as the ACLU) are crying foul, saying that until the judge hands down a decision on the legality of the new law it is premature for the state to pursue additional actions. But, since the new system merely verifies whether a driver’s license is valid, the decision by the judge on the new immigration enforcement law should not affect use of this new system.
Let’s hope that Alabamans will be able to soon enforce their new immigration laws, but in the meantime, their creative approach to discouraging illegal immigration should be applauded.