Hammon's 5-bill plan: 'Get tough' on illegals
By M.J. Ellington
DAILY Staff Writer
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MONTGOMERY — A Decatur Republican legislator who has advocated a get-tough stance on illegal immigration announced a package of five bills Wednesday that he said will address such issues.
"The flood of illegal immigrants into our country and our state poses a threat to our national security, hurts our economy and drains precious tax dollars that the men and women of Alabama work hard to produce," said Rep. Micky Hammon.
Hammon said three of the measures are part of the House Republican caucus package for the session, but none have bill numbers. Hammon measures included in the caucus package include bills to: Make it a Class C felony for an illegal alien to register to vote, attempt to register to vote, provide false voter registration information or cast a vote. People who try to help illegal aliens vote would also be guilty of a Class C felony. Require proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, before people who apply for public benefits can receive benefits such as food stamps and other assistance. Create an Alabama Criminal Alien Assistance Program Fund, modeled after similar legislation in Colorado, to bring in federal dollars to pay for jailing illegal aliens.
Two other Hammon bills not included in the caucus 2006 emphasis make up Hammon's package, including bills to: Enable law enforcement officials to seize personal property of identified and confirmed illegal aliens living or visiting in the state. The bill would exclude personal property essential for survival. Enable law enforcement officers to impound vehicles of illegal aliens caught without a driver's license or proof of insurance.
Hammon said Rep. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, will sponsor legislation to impose penalties on businesses that hire illegal aliens. He was not immediately available for comment.
Two Democrats earlier filed bills that deal with the illegal immigrant issue.
Rep. Randy Hinshaw, D-Meridianville, has filed a bill that restricts access of illegal aliens to non-emergency government services. Rep. LeaFite, D-Jacksonville, is sponsoring legislation to put penalties on employers who do not go through a current federal government program to verify that potential employees are in the country legally.
Hammon said he hopes to get funding with the help of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile, for an illegal alien pilot project for Limestone and Morgan counties. Hammon said money from the project would pay for local law enforcement officers to train to help enforce federal immigration laws.
With similar funding, Alabama in 2005 became one of three states where state troopers have training to assist federal immigration officers.
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