On September 28, 2011, a federal district court judge in Alabama upheld portions of Alabama’s immigration law targeting illegal immigration. The law was to take effect immediately. This means beginning today, September 29, 2011, Alabama state police and other authorities can question people suspected of being in the country illegally and hold them without bond, and officials can check the immigration status of students in public schools.
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. She also ruled that a section of the law that criminalized the “willful failure” of a person in the country illegally to carry federal immigration papers did not pre-empt federal law.
Other sections of the Alabama’s tough immigration law upheld by the federal judge include:
1. Nullification of any contracts entered into by an illegal immigrant;
2. Prohibition of any transaction between an illegal immigrant and any division of the state;
3. Requirement that elementary and secondary schools determine the immigration status of incoming students.
The federal judge’s ruling is expected to be appealed through several different lawsuits, including one from the Obama Administration.
Vowing to crack down on illegal immigration, Republicans passed the immigration bill in the State Legislature in the 2010 elections. Governor Robert Bentley signed it into law in June 2011.
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