By Joe Sutton and Gustavo Valdes, CNN
(CNN) – Alabama lawmakers passed a new bill Wednesday aimed at improving the state’s controversial immigration law, but critics said the new measure might make things worse.
Demonstrators protested outside the chambers of the Alabama state House and Senate. Seven of them were arrested, said Justin Cox, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants Rights Project.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s legal director was among those arrested, said Marion Steinfels, a representative of the organization.
Police could not be immediately reached for comment.
The center is one of the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against Alabama’s immigration law.
The new immigration bill, known as HB 658, was approved by the state House and Senate Wednesday.
The state’s governor will have the final say, with the power to sign the bill into law or veto it.