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5/3: Alabama "Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act" introduced
Released 09 May 2005  By Michele Waslin - NCLR

Continuing on the heels of the success of Arizona's Proposition 200
(officially known as the Arizona "Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act"),
Alabama becomes the latest in a growing list of states facing this form of
anti-immigrant legislation.

HB808, the Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, which was introduced
on April 21, 2005 is newest of several pieces of anti-immigrant legislation
in the Alabama Legislature this session. Below are the details.

If anyone has additional information, it would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Devin Burghart
Director, Building Democracy Initiative
Center for New Community
P.O. Box 346066
Chicago, IL 60634
www.buildingdemocracy.org (for the latest on anti-immigrant activity)
www.newcomm.org

-----------------------------------------------------------

HB808
By Representatives Hammon, Davis, Grimes, Love, Thomas (E), Oden, Greeson,
Hurst, Gaston, Barton, Glover, Clouse, Johnson, Brewbaker, Gipson, Bentley,
Ball, Collier, Hubbard, Allen, McClendon, Hill, Ward, Wood, Humphryes,
Morton, Galliher, Williams (N), Beason, Williams (J), Greer, Beck, Faust,
Carns and McMillan
RFD Constitution and Elections
Rd 1 21-APR-05

SYNOPSIS: Under existing law, an individual is not required to show proof of
citizenship to register to vote and proof of citizenship or lawful presence
in the United States in order to receive certain public benefits.
This bill would require an individual to show proof of citizenship to
register to vote and show proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the
United States in order to receive certain public benefits. The bill would
also allow temporary benefits to be paid in cases where the applicant cannot
provide proof of citizenship.

A BILL
TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

To provide for the Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act by requiring
proof of citizenship to register to vote and either proof of citizenship or
lawful presence in the United States under federal law to receive certain
public assistance benefits; to provide for temporary benefits to be paid in
cases where the applicant cannot provide proof at the time of application;
to require certain state agencies to cooperate with local governments and
the United States Department of Homeland Security to develop a system for
verifying lawful presence; and to authorize any individual to file a
complaint with the affected state agency for its failure to comply with this
act.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. This act may be cited as the "Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen
Protection Act."

Section 2. The Legislature finds that illegal immigration is causing
economic hardship and lawlessness in this state and that illegal immigration
is encouraged by public agencies within this state that provide public
benefits without verifying immigration status. The Legislature further finds
that illegal immigrants have been harbored and sheltered in this state and
encouraged and induced to reside in this state through the issuance of
identification cards that are issued without verifying immigration status,
and that these practices impede and obstruct federal immigration law,
undermine the security of our borders, and impermissibly restrict the
privileges and immunities of the citizens of Alabama. Therefore, the people
of this state declare that it is a compelling public interest of this state
to discourage illegal immigration by requiring all public agencies within
this state to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Section 3. (a) A county board of registrars shall reject any application for
registration that is not accompanied by satisfactory evidence of United
State citizenship.

(b) The Secretary of State, within 180 days of the effective date of this
act, shall compile and publish a list of approved documents, or a
combination of approved documents, that establish satisfactory evidence of
United States citizenship. The Secretary of State, at least 180 days prior
to the date of a general election, may amend the list of approved documents.
In compiling or amending the list of approved documents, the Secretary of
State shall give due consideration to facilitating voter registration by
citizens as well as the deterrence and prevention of fraudulent registration
by unauthorized persons, and shall provide an opportunity for submission of
public comments by interested citizens. The Secretary of State shall ensure
that the list of approved documents conforms to all relevant federal laws.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, any person who is
registered in this state on the effective date of this act is deemed to have
provided satisfactory evidence of citizenship and shall not be required to
resubmit evidence of citizenship unless the person is registering in another
county.

(d) For the purposes of this section, proof of voter registration from
another state or county is not satisfactory evidence of citizenship.

(e) After a person has submitted satisfactory evidence of citizenship, the
board of registrars shall indicate this information in the person's
permanent voter file.

Section 4. (a) At the time of application for public assistance program
benefits or for an identification document issued by the state or a
political subdivision of the state, an applicant must provide affirmative
proof that the applicant is a citizen of the United States or is lawfully
present in the United States under federal immigration law. The affirmative
proof shall consist of any valid document or combination of valid documents
recognized by the Department of Public Safety when processing an application
for a driver's license. The state or local government agency responsible for
administering a program of public assistance shall not provide public
assistance program benefits to an applicant unless or until the applicant
has met the requirements of this section. A state or local government agency
administering public assistance benefits shall not accept an identification
card issued by a state or local government agency, including a driver's
license, to establish identity or determine eligibility of public assistance
benefits unless the state or local government agency that issued the card
has verified the immigration status of the applicant.

(1) An applicant who cannot provide the proof required under this section at
the time of application may alternatively sign an affidavit under oath,
attesting to either United States citizenship or to classification by the
United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, in
order to receive temporary benefits or a temporary identification document
as provided in this section. The affidavit shall be on or consistent with
forms prepared by the state or local government agency administering the
public assistance benefits program, and shall include the applicant's Social
Security number and an explanation of the penalties under state law for
fraudulently obtaining public assistance benefits. An applicant that
knowingly provides false information on the affidavit or application for
public assistance benefits is subject to criminal penalties applicable in
this state for fraudulently obtaining public assistance program benefits. An
applicant who has provided the sworn affidavit required by this subdivision
is eligible to receive temporary public assistance program benefits as
follows:

a. For 90 days or until such time that it is determined that the applicant
is not lawfully present in the United States, whichever is earlier.

b. Indefinitely if the applicant provides a copy of a completed application
for an Alabama birth certificate that is pending in Alabama or some other
state. An extension granted under this paragraph shall terminate upon the
applicant's receipt of a birth certificate or a determination that a birth
certificate does not exist because the applicant is not a United States
citizen.

c. An applicant who has provided the sworn affidavit in accordance with this
section is eligible to receive a temporary identification document for
either 30 days or until such time that it is determined that the applicant
is not lawfully present in the United States, whichever is earlier.

d. A state or local government agency shall report in writing to the
Attorney General of this state, and to a federal immigration law enforcement
office designated by the Attorney General of this state, an applicant or
beneficiary described in this section that fails to verify the applicant's
or beneficiary's own legal presence in the United States. An employee of a
state or local government agency who knowingly and willfully fails to report
violations of federal immigration law is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. A
supervisor of an employee who knows of the employee's failure to report and
fails to direct the employee to make the report is guilty of a Class B
misdemeanor.

(b) This section does not apply to state or local public assistance program
benefits that are excepted from verification of eligibility under federal
law.

(c) The definition of "state or local public benefit" under 8 U.S.C.
1621(c) shall apply to programs of public assistance provided under the laws
of this state. The definition shall exclude any state and local public
benefit excepted from verification of eligibility under 8 U.S.C.A.
1621(b), including services necessary for the treatment of an emergency
medical condition.

(d) This section shall be enforced without regard to race, religion, gender,
ethnicity, or national origin.

(e) Any person who believes that a state or local government agency has
failed to comply with this section in the administration of public
assistance program benefits may file a complaint in writing with the state
or local government agency charged with administering the program.

(1) The state or local government agency shall provide a written response
within 60 days of receipt of the complaint, or within 30 days if the
complaint alleges erroneous determination that the person is not lawfully
present in the United States.

(2) A person with reasonable cause to believe that a state or local
government agency has failed to cease an act or practice in violation of
this section, within 75 days after receipt of the agency's written response
to the person's complaint made pursuant to subdivision (1) of this
subsection, may institute a proceeding for injunction or mandamus to remedy
the violation giving rise to the complaint.

Section 5. All state agencies administering programs of public assistance in
this state shall cooperate with local governments and the United States
Department of Homeland Security to develop a system to facilitate
verification of an individual's lawful presence in the United States in
furtherance of this act. The system developed may include all or part of the
Systematic Alien Verification Entitlements Program operated by the United
States Department of Homeland Security.

Section 6. This act shall become effective immediately following its passage
and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

Michele Waslin
NCLR
mwaslin@nclr.org


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