A strict new immigration law that went into effect in Alabama on September 29 has impacted small businesses in the state.
Under the new law, business owners must furnish proof of legal residency to obtain or renew a business license. This new requirement is likely to cause administrative snafus, the Decatur Daily recently reported.
The city anticipates that after a January deadline, it will have to return business license renewal applications to owners who did not include proof of citizenship status, Tina Boyles, head of Decatur's revenue department, told the Daily. However, she said the new requirement has not caused many problems with business owners who have applied for their first license since the immigration law took effect.
The paper spoke with several business owners who said they do not mind the extra paperwork, but are worried the law will deplete their employee rolls and customer base.
"It's hurting my business, as well as others, because some of our customers have left the state," local business owner Steve Rikard told the source.
Under the immigration law, Alabama police officers can arrest individuals suspected of being illegal immigrants who cannot provide documentary proof of legal residency.
Six poultry processing centers and numerous other Alabama businesses were shut down recently when immigrant workers and their allies called in sick to protest the law, The Associated Press reported.