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Alabama’s Anti-Illegal Immigration Bill Suffers Another Setback

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals blocked two key sections of HB 56, Alabama’s anti-illegal immigration law Thursday pending a final ruling on the appeal.  The appeal is on hold pending a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on the Constitutionality of the Arizona Law which is similar to the Alabama law.

According to a written statement from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), ”The ruling comes several days after a civil rights coalition and the U.S. Department of Justice presented arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, arguing the Alabama anti-immigrant law should be blocked. During the hearing in Atlanta, civil rights attorneys told a panel of three judges that the law fundamentally conflicts with federal law and systematically violates the rights of U.S. citizens and immigrants with and without lawful status. The coalition of civil rights groups that sued against the law said today it was pleased the court considered its renewed pleas to block provisions pending the appeal based on harms the law is inflicting.”

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said, “I strongly disagree with the eleventh circuit’s decision.  “I will continue to vigorously defend Alabama’s immigration law in the courts,” the statement said. “I am hopeful that the Supreme Court’s coming decision in the Ari­zona case will make clear that our law is constitutional.”

Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, said:  “Today’s order brings immediate relief to countless Alabamians whose fundamental rights have been trampled by this anti-immigrant law. These provisions were designed to make it impossible for ordinary families to live in Alabama by stripping them of their ability to engage in contracts – like rental agreements or car leases – and to do any business with the state government.  They are unconstitutional and the court rightly blocked them pending a final ruling on the appeal.”

Mary Bauer, the SPLC legal director said, “Today’s ruling strikes at the heart of this racist law and is yet another blow for the effort to pass similar laws across the country.”  “This law is clearly unconstitutional and is causing harm every day for citizens and non-citizens alike. We hope that the Alabama legislature will be guided by this latest loss in the courts and look to other state legislatures that are abandoning similar efforts and finally repeal this law.”

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.