In a surprising development late last week, Judge Sharon Blackburn did not enjoin major portions of Alabama’s extreme anti-immigrant law, HB 56, leaving many of its sections intact. She is the only judge in the country so far that upholds such a law.
Local police in Alabama can now act as federal immigration enforcement agents by demanding proof of legal status from anyone who appears to be foreign.
Other provisions—that are worse than any anti-immigration law out there—impose on public school administrators to check the legal status of students and their parents and report immigrant violators. Immigrants in Alabama will also have limited access to housing and utilities if they cannot produce the proper documentation.
HB 56 will inflict greater economic damage to Alabama, costing the state millions to implement and defend. Restrictive immigration laws have proven to reduce, not maximize, law enforcement effectiveness, because the police will now be targeting small civil offenses (such as immigration violations) instead of focusing on the real crimes.
An appeal is sure to come shortly.