Policy Spotlight: Potential Impact of Alabama's Immigration Law

Alabama Capitol at Montgomery

Alabama HB 56, the Hammon-Beason Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, is an anti-illegal immigration bill signed into law in June 2011; it is regarded as the strictest anti-illegal immigration law in the United States.

The law raises several enforcement challenges for police, schools, and other public service providers such as hospitals. For example, it requires police to make a reasonable attempt to determine a person's legal status if, during the course of any legal stop or detention, the police have "reasonable suspicion" that a person is an illegal immigrant. The law also prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving any public benefits at either the state or local level, including education and hospital care.

RAND has conducted significant research on both legal and illegal immigration. Several of our reports and other publications explore the costs, benefits, and challenges of enforcing federal and state immigration laws and may be of interest to Alabama and other state policymakers.

Law Enforcement and Illegal Immigration

Cost of Providing Health Care to Immigrants

  • Nurse examining female patient

    Little Public Money Spent Providing Health Care to Undocumented Immigrants

    Nov 14, 2006

    Just a small fraction of America's health care spending is used to provide publicly supported care to the nation's undocumented immigrants. Immigrants to the United States use relatively few health services, primarily because they are generally healthier than their American-born counterparts.