Alabama governor promises revisions to tough immigration law

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2011 4:08 PM
Alabama governor promises revisions to tough immigration law

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (Reuters) - Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said on Friday the state's tough new immigration law would be revised following embarrassing incidents of foreign auto employees being detained because they were not carrying sufficient identification.

In a joint statement, Governor Robert Bentley, House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, said they do not plan to repeal or weaken the law, which is widely considered to be the toughest state law in the nation.

It requires police to detain people they suspect of being in the United States illegally if they cannot produce proper documentation when stopped for any reason.

But the three Republicans said they would work to tweak the law, which has generated embarrassing headlines in recent weeks and hurt the state's reputation with business.

"We recognize that changes are needed to ensure that Alabama has not only the nation's most effective law, but one that is fair and just, promotes economic growth, preserves jobs for those in Alabama legally, and can be enforced effectively and without prejudice," Bentley said in the statement.

In recent weeks, two foreign workers in Alabama's key auto industry were detained by police for failing to produce proof of their legal residency, generating negative publicity for the state and prompting calls for a re-examination of the law.

(Reporting by Verna Gates; Writing by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Greg McCune)