Parts of a Controversial Immigration Law Blocked By Federal Appeal s Court
1 year ago
Most Opposed Provision Remains Enforced
Parts of a controversial immigration law in Alabama was blocked by a federal appeals court Friday following requests from the U.S. Justice Department and civil rights groups to reevaluate the constitutionality of the law.
The Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta blocked two provisions of the law. One is that immigrants who do not complete or carry an alien registration card would face misdemeanor charges. The second is that public school officials are required to check the immigration status of students. The latter resulted in a decline in attendance among Hispanics the following week the law went into affect.
But one provision that garnered the most outcries will remain enforced: police, whether during an arrest or routine traffic stop, can check the immigration status of anyone.
Alabama residents are divided on the issue. While the volume of opponents has been loud and clear, a large group is in support of the law.
Other provisions still enforced include:
--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.
-- 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 appeals court also announced it would hear oral arguments on pertaining to the law, as early as December. The issues in Alabama and in other states with similar laws—including South Carolina where The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other civil rights groups filed a lawsuit last week, may ultimately have to be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Though only a partial win, the U.S. Justice Department issued a statement welcoming the appeals court ruling, and adding that "We continue to believe that the other key provisions we challenged are also preempted and we look forward to the upcoming consideration by the court of appeals of the merits of the appeal."