Friday, October 14, 2011


Earlier today, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked enforcement of parts of a controversial immigration enforcement law in Alabama.
The U.S. Justice Department and a coalition of immigrant rights groups requested that an injunction will be issued against Alabama or that HB 56 will be stopped from being implemented while the court considers whether it is constitutional.
The court blocked sections 10 and 28 of HB56 from being implemented while allowing the other parts to remain in effect, at least for now.
The arguments in the Alabama law are similar to the law we had in Georgia, that is that states cannot interfere with the federal government's exclusive authorities to enforce the immigration laws and control foreign policy.
Among the provisions temporarily blocked from being enforced are:
Requiring state officials to check the immigration status of students in public schools; Provision making "willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration card" a misdemeanor for immigrants.
However, the state will be allowed to have police during lawful stops or arrests to "attempt to determine the immigration status of a person who they suspect is an unauthorized alien of this country." That is one of the most controversial parts of the law and should have been enjoined. I do not understand why the court allowed this provision to stay as it clearly is preempted (as all other the courts that dealt with this issue have determined).
Other parts that were not stopped were a provision barring state courts from enforcing contracts involving undocumented immigrants, if the hiring party had a "direct or constructive" knowledge that the person was in the country unlawfully and a provision making it a felony for illegal immigrants to enter into a "business transaction" in Alabama, including applying for a driver's license or a business license.
The court also announced it would hear oral arguments on the constitutional questions on an expedited basis, as early as December.
The link to the court's decision is at:

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