Now, months after they should have acted, Alabama legislators finally introduced a rewrite of HB 56 to address the immigration bill’s severe flaws — only to add another provision that makes the bill even worse:
Long-promised revisions to the state’s controversial immigration law were filed Thursday afternoon, with one significantly expanding provisions allowing officers to detain those they have “reasonable suspicion” of being in the country unlawfully.
Under the current law, police could apply “reasonable suspicion” to the individual arrested or cited during a traffic stop. The new bill would allow law enforcement to detain anyone else in the vehicle.
Police would only be able to ask about a person’s immigration status during traffic citations or arrests instead of at any stop, but this is still an invasive addition to the law to allow police to question anyone in a car, not just the driver. Todd Stacy, spokesman for House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R), said law enforcement officials requested the expanded interpretation of “reasonable suspicion.”