By Melanie Posey
IRONDALE, AL (WBRC) - An immigration law in Arizona that is the subject of national controversy is very similar to a new resolution in Irondale.
Councilman Craig Sanderson drafted the resolution. "It's important to the city because all laws should be enforced." He says that includes federal immigration laws.
The resolution essentially tells Irondale police officers that the city supports their efforts to check the immigration status of anyone who's been stopped or is under investigation.
Sanderson says it is not pointed at any particular race of people. "But it's also important because people who are not entitled to certain government benefits could be a drain on resources if they become a large group of the population."
The measure passed by a vote of 4 to 2 at Tuesday's city council meeting.
Mayor Tommy Joe Alexander cast a voted in favor of the measure. "Irondale is a very welcoming place," Alexander said. "We don't discriminate against anyone." But some in the Latino community say otherwise. "If a white or black person is stopped without any identification, will they be asked about their immigration status? I think not," says Freddy Rubio, a Birmingham attorney who's clientele is 95 percent Latino.
While he agrees Irondale's resolution has no legal binding, he says officers don't even have the authority to check immigration status. "The U.S. constitution gives the power to the federal government to regulate immigration. And Irondale should not do the job Congress should do for us," Rubio stressed. "We have to be smarter than this," said Irondale city councilor Christopher Crews.
He was one of two council members who voted against the resolution. "We as city leaders must consider what these people will think. In the long run is it a positive for the city or a political stunt to get on television?"