By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned three of four challenged provisions of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law, SB 1070. Most observers think that this will impact Alabama’s similar anti-illegal immigration legislation, HB 56. Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D) from Selma, who has been vocal opponent of state anti-illegal immigration legislation, released a statement on Monday.
Rep Sewell said, “In light of my strong opposition to Alabama’s own controversial immigration law HB 56, I am pleased that the majority of Arizona’s immigration law was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Rep. Sewell was not entirely satisfied with the Court’s decision: “I am greatly concerned with the Court’s decision to uphold the provision that leaves the door open for racial profiling and discrimination by allowing officers to check the immigration status of lawful immigrants, minorities and even American citizens based on ‘suspicion.’”
Rep. Sewell said, “As the Representative of Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, where many fought, bled and died for the equal treatment of all Americans, I believe this law undermines those civil rights and equal protections by allowing individuals to be targeted based on the color of their skin. The Supreme Court has expressed the need for further review of this section of the law and it is my hope that this provision will be overturned upon further scrutiny.”
Congresswoman Sewell said, “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court illustrates the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform. It is irresponsible to rely on a state by state piecemeal approach such as Arizona SB 1070 and Alabama HB 56. I remain committed to working together with the President and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress on passing real comprehensive immigration reform.”
Alabama’s anti-illegal immigration bill, the Beason Hammons Alabama Citizen and Taxpayer Protection Act (HB 56) was modeled on Arizona’s landmark legislation. The legislation is currently being challenged in the Federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Most court observers think that the Monday decision will impact the Alabama case.
Congresswoman Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District. The Seventh District is Alabama’s majority minority district. The Seventh District was previously represented by Artur Davis who vacated the “safe” seat to run unsuccessfully for Governor. Former Congressman Davis has since moved to Virginia and has switched to the Republican Party.
Rep. Sewell is seeking a second term in the U.S. Congress. Her Republican opponent in the November 6th General Election is Don Chamberlain from Selma.