Alabama's governor has signed what he billed as a severe illegal immigration legislation, necessitating police to verify the status of anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally when stopped for another reason.

The bill due to take effect on September 1, was signed into law by Republican Governor Robert Bentley lately.

Its entrance makes Alabama the latest in a series of states, including Georgia and Arizona, to enact controversial new laws intended at tackling illegal immigration.On the other hand, civil rights groups and the Mexican government have been fast to criticize the move.

Based on a fact sheet presented by Alabama House Republicans, the bill will necessitate law enforcement officers to attempt to determine the immigration status of a person who they suspect is an illegal alien of this country.

Additionally, the legislation also makes it a criminal offense to offer transport or housing to an illegitimate immigrant. The state will need to check the nationality of students, and any company that knowingly employs an illegal immigrant will be penalized.

Bentley discarded suggestions the law is biased, and stated that he is confident it was drafted in such a way that it will endure legal challenges.