Entries in Robert Bentley (2)


Alabama Governor Signs Tough Anti-Immigration Law

Governor [dot] Alabama [dot] gov(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) -- Until Thursday, Arizona had what many believed was the strictest anti-illegal immigration law in the nation.  But not anymore.

Over the objections of civil rights groups, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed legislation that prevents illegal immigrants from either enrolling in or attending college, prohibits them from applying for or soliciting work, and makes it illegal for landlords to rent them property.

By contrast, Arizona's law imposes penalties on employers who hire undocumented aliens.  The most controversial part of that statute -- allowing police to question citizenship status during a reasonable arrest -- is currently blocked and will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Alabama's law permits police to make a "reasonable attempt" to ascertain a person's citizenship and immigration status during any lawful "stop, detention or arrest."

The American Civil Liberties Union announced immediately after the Alabama governor signed the law that it would file a lawsuit to stop it.  Al Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, said Alabama's law would create "a modern-day trail of tears for immigrants in the state."

On the other hand, many are praising the law, including noted social conservative Phyllis Schlafly, who said Alabama had turned into "the leader in comprehensive immigration reform."

It's estimated there are 120,000 undocumented aliens among Alabama's population of 4.9 million people, most of them Latinos.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Death Toll Continues to Climb from Southern Storms

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) -- The death toll of the southern storms continued to rise Saturday, making it one of the deadliest twister outbreaks in U.S. history.

Alabama was the hardest hit of the seven states. Approximately 1,700 people were injured by the storms in the state, according to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. The official state death toll has reached 248, according to Alabama emergency officials.

The National Weather Service categorized Wednesday afternoon's tornado in Smithville, Miss., as an EF-5, reserved for only the fiercest and most devastating of tornadoes.

Since Wednesday, storms have ravaged communities across Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia, Louisiana and Tennessee. In addition to those killed in Alabama, 34 people died in Mississippi, 34 in Tennessee, 15 in Georgia, five in Virginia, two in Louisiana and one in Kentucky.

The storms have destroyed or damaged power plants, power lines, gas stations and water supplies, leaving more than one million people without electricity. Thousands are homeless or without fuel or safe drinking water. Three nuclear power plants have shut down and are offline.

President Obama and the first lady toured the disaster area Friday in hard-hit Tuscaloosa, Ala., where 36 people died.

Across the country, Americans have been donating to the relief effort, through text-message donations to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, among other charities. The New York Yankees have donated $500,000 to relief efforts

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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