Proposed changes to the Alabama immigration law would allow police to check the citizenship status of passengers provided that the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that the passengers might not be in the country legally, but Cooper Shattuck, a legal advisor to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, says police can’t arrest a passenger just for being undocumented.
“If there’s someone else in the automobile that they have a reasonable suspicion here of being here unlawfully, they can run that check through the government,” Shattuck told the Montgomery Advertiser. “But they still don’t have power to take that person into custody or arrest them or detain them separate from any other crime.”
On Thursday, Republican legislative leaders introduced a bevy of proposed changes to the immigration law, known as HB56.