Alabama Immigration Law: Judge Upholds Most of Alabama Law

Alabama’s new immigration law, considered the strictest in the United States, was sued by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice, and the Obama-brand of Justice just lost most of its case. Two other suits, one by a group of church leaders and a civil rights group were included in the ruling. Most of the law survived intact, including two key issues: traffic stops allowing documentation checks and public schools verifying the residency status of students.

Portions Upheld:

The judge upheld a section that requires state and local law enforcement officials to try to verify a person’s immigration status during routine traffic stops or arrests, if “a reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the country illegally. And she ruled that a section that criminalized the “willful failure” of a person in the country illegally to carry federal immigration papers did not pre-empt federal law…

Among the other sections Judge Blackburn upheld: one that nullifies any contracts entered into by an illegal immigrant; another that forbids any transaction between an illegal immigrant and any division of the state, a proscription that has already led to the denial of a Montgomery man’s application for water and sewage service; and, most controversially, a section that requires elementary and secondary schools to determine the immigration status of incoming students.

Portions not upheld:

The judge did issue a preliminary injunction against several sections of the law, agreeing with the government’s case that they pre-empted federal law. She blocked a broad provision that outlawed the harboring or transporting of illegal immigrants and another that barred illegal immigrants from enrolling in or attending public universities.

Appeals are underway. Some believe this ruling will fast track to the Supreme Court. Read the full story at The New York Times. There is more at The Christian Science Monitor.

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook