Under HB56, are you ready to prove your legal status on the road and at work and at home and at school? We now see that you will also have to prove your citizenship for every transaction with the state government. As reported in the Shelby County Reporter:
House Bill 56, which deals with illegal immigrants in Alabama and was passed by the Alabama Legislature during its 2011 session, requires anyone applying for or renewing a driver’s license or car tag in the state to present two forms of identification in person.
Clanton Advertiser further detailed this provision of HB56,
According to an Aug. 26 press release, Act 2011-535 of the Alabama Legislature, also known as the Immigration Act, will require everyone to show proof of U.S. citizenship for every business transaction made through the Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division and County Licensing Offices.
“Business transactions” include applying for or renewing a license plate, a driver’s license, a non-driver identification card or a certificate of title.
“It’s really going to change the way we do everything in our office,” said Tim Little, Chilton County tax collector. “Just be patient with us. We’re going to suffer along with the public until we can get the wrinkles ironed out.”
Beginning Sept. 1, any person applying for or renewing a license plate, driver’s license, non-driver identification card or certificate of title must come into the Motor Vehicle Registration Office and present documents proving U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S.
“You will have to go in and show the proper I.D.,” Little said. “No more online renewals. It’s going to be bad.”
Examples of acceptable documents for U.S. citizenship, original or photocopied clearly, include:
•A valid, unexpired driver’s license or non-driver identification card issued by the Alabama Department of Public Safety.
•A U.S. birth certificate.
•A valid or expired passport with I.D. and passport number.
•Naturalization documents or the certificate of naturalization number.
According to the press release, applicants trying to prove lawful presence must present one document for verification each year, such as a valid, unexpired Alabama driver’s license, a valid, unexpired non-driver identification card or a valid tribal enrollment card.
“It (immigration law) can be interpreted so many different ways,” Little said. “We’re trying to let the public know what to expect come September 1.”
I bet GOP Majority Leader Hammon is surprised to see these “signs of laziness” show up in Chilton County and even Fortress GOP Shelby County. But the GOP will assist these “unmotivated” local officials:
State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said the abolishment of the online and mail-in renewal system was an “unintended consequence” of the immigration bill.
“As a legislature, we will definitely have to address that next year. That’s something we are going to have to fix,” Ward said. “This is a problem that came up that was not intended.”
I would like to see how prominent “unintended consequence” and “tweak” would appear in a word-cloud of recent GOP speeches. What was an intended consequence? The people of Alabama will just deal with “nightmare” of “unintended consequences” until they can “tweak” the unpopular parts of the law next session. Problem is: tweaks will not undo the damage of the legislation. If I were a betting man though, I think we will see a special session out of this ill-considered, short-sighted, and rushed piece of legislation.