ACLU sends letter to Decatur City Council over immigration issue - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

ACLU sends letter to Decatur City Council over immigration issue

By Trang Do - bio | email

DECATUR, AL (WAFF)- The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama is threatening to sue if the city of Decatur passes an immigration law similar to one passed in another Alabama town.

The city council in Irondale, which is in Jefferson County, passed a resolution on July 6th that states that during a police investigation, if officers suspect a person may be in the country illegally, they can make a reasonable attempt to determine the person's immigration status.

A line in the resolution also reads "nothing in this resolution requires, condones or approves any profiling based on race, creed, color or place of origin."

However, Olivia Turner, executive director of the ACLU in Alabama, said it's just the opposite.

"It just is a blatant invitation to racial profiling against people of color by law enforcement," said Turner.

Recently published reports show that Decatur councilman Ronny Russell is interested in considering a similar resolution for Decatur.

On July 9th, the ACLU sent a letter to Russell and the other members of the council, urging them not to follow in Irondale's and the state of Arizona's footsteps.

[Click here to read a copy of the letter (PDF)]

Turner said call the acts passed by Irondale and Arizona unconstitutional.

"Our country just can't have every community deciding who is here lawfully and who isn't. If we did that, it would be like every community setting up its own foreign policy," said Turner.

Turner said the ACLU believes immigration reform is needed, but that this is not the way to do it. The group is considering bringing up a lawsuit against the city of Irondale.

Councilman Ronny Russell could not be reached Thursday for comment.

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