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American Immigrant: Alabama

By By Valeria Pretto-Calder, Esq.
La Costa Latina

Gulf Coast — Due to the new Alabama immigration law, I want to share some history on the United States Constitution and explain why certain parts of the Alabama law violate the US Constitution.

The US Constitution was written in 1787 and took effect in 1789, the same year George Washington became the first president of the United States. The US Constitution is often referred to as the supreme law of the land because all laws in the US have to respect the individual rights that the US Constitution protects.

That is, the states cannot pass laws that violate the rights provided for in the US Constitution. Herein is the problem with the Alabama law, it violates some of the rights that the US Constitution aims to protect.

The Alabama law is in direct conflict with the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, which protects individuals from “unreasonable search and seizure” by the police. The Fourth Amendment dates back to when the US was still a British colony, during that time the British had a lot of power to stop and search the American colonists.

The American colonists did not like this, so when they gained their independence and became a sovereign country, they created the Fourth Amendment to limit the power the police had to stop and search people.

In essence, the Fourth Amendment protects people from being stopped by the police or having the police come into their homes without a legal reason to do so. For example, if the police want to stop your car they need a legal reason; such as speeding, an expired tag, or running a stop sign. This means that the police cannot stop your car just because they want to see if you have a driver’s license or to check your immigration status.

Now, if the police legally stop your car, then they can ask for your drivers license and issue you a ticket for the traffic infraction. The problem with the Alabama law is that it allows the police to go one step further…

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