Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed the state's tough new immigration bill into law Thursday, making it legal for police to arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant if they're stopped for another reason.
The law will also require public schools to determine a student's immigration status and make it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride.
Gov. Bentley said the law is the nation's toughest. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union plan to challenge it.
Under the law, Alabama employers are now required to use a federal "E-Verify" system to determine if new workers are in the country legally.
Republican state Sen. Scott Beason said the law's requirements would create jobs and put thousands of unemployed Alabama residents back to work.
The 2010 U.S. census revealed about 186,000 of the state's nearly 4.8 million people identified as Hispanic or Latino -- more than double the number reported in the 2000 census.