Bills rushed through House

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2008

Staff and wire

State Rep. Yusuf Salaam, D-Selma, has concerns about the eight immigration bills that whizzed through the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

He said he believes some lawmakers tried to rush bills through the system to impress voters.

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Tension rose during the debate. Supporters of the bills claimed the measures would protect jobs and public safety.

Others, like Salaam, raised concerns about the constitutionality of some of the bills.

Of those approved by the committee, one bill would revoke the license of business that knowingly hires illegal immigrants.

Another bill would make it a crime to transport illegal immigrants into the state and impound a vehicle if the driver cannot prove he or she is a legal citizen.

The committee rejected two immigration bills: one requiring all workers in the state to have an identification card and another to allow authorities to seize property acquired while the owner was in the country illegally.

The identification card measure would cost an estimated $1.7 million, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

The ID bill is not dead. A similar bill by state Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, cleared a Senate committee Wednesday.