Teens in Alabama — does the dance floor at prom seem a little emptier than usual this year? Well, it’s not just that awful DJ the principal booked. New immigration legislation would prohibit a whole category of classmates from attending. Under SB 256, the “Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act”, a bill recently passed by the Alabama state senate, K-12 students would no longer be allowed “participation in any extracurricular activity outside of the basic course of study”. According to Mother Jones:
In other words, no chess club or drama society for the kids; football might be a religion in Alabama, but that’s off-limits too.
The bill, sponsored by GOP state Sen. Scott Beason, has many of the same features as the controversial law passed by Arizona last spring, with a few twists. Police officers would be required to ask drivers for their immigration papers during routine traffic stops, if they have a “reasonable suspicion” the driver is not in the country legally. And because undocumented residents are already prevented from obtaining driver’s licenses, the bill goes one step further, making it a crime to knowingly give a ride to an undocumented resident.
The provision’s sponsor, GOP state Sen. Scott, calls it a “jobs bill”. The measure also blocks employers from hiring undocumented workers, requires voters to show proof of citizenship, and gives law enforcement more authority to check immigration status. The bill is currently pending in the House; if passed it would go to Republican Governor Robert Bentley to be signed into law.