Reaction rolls in regarding Ala. immigration law ruling - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Reaction rolls in regarding Ala. immigration law ruling


The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta issued rulings Monday regarding immigration laws from Alabama and from Georgia. Now, officials are reacting to the developments. 

Regarding Alabama's law, commonly referred to as HB 56, the Court threw out Section 28, which is the provision that required schools to collect data on the immigration status of students who enroll in school. 

The Court has temporarily blocked two sections of the law, Section 10 and Section 27. Section 10 is also known as the "papers please" section.  It created a state crime if an immigrant was not carrying an alien registration document.  Section 27 forbid citizens from entering into contracts with illegal immigrants.  

DOCUMENT: [11th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on immigration law (.pdf)]

The Court upheld Sections 12(a), 18, 30 of the law.  Section 12(a) allows police to detain suspected illegal aliens.  Section 18 required authorities to make a reasonable effort to determine the immigration status of a driver found not to be carrying a driver's license.  Section 30 forbid any illegal immigrant from entering into a business transaction with the state or any political subdivision thereof. 

The Court found that if the case were to go to the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States is likely to succeed in the following sections of the law: 10, 11(a), 13(a), 16, 17 and 27.   

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange issued a one sentence statement saying, "While we are still reviewing today's ruling, we are pleased that the court recognized the validity of our arguments and upheld several provisions of Alabama's law." 

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley echoed those remarks saying, "The essence of Alabama's immigration law has been upheld by today's ruling..." Bentley says the law is needed, "because the federal government has refused to enforce its own policies. The federal government has also failed to approach immigration reform in a comprehensive manner." 

Opponents of the law, including the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), hailed the 11th Circuit's ruling as a victory saying the court, "...sent a strong message to Alabama and other states that they cannot enact hate-filled laws to try to drive an entire class of people from their borders." 

SPLC legal director Mary Bauer said the organization, "...will continue to challenge the provisions left in place because, as we have already seen in Alabama, these laws cannot be enforced without racial profiling." 

Alabama's immigration law is considered the toughest in the nation, but the federal government sued, arguing the state had overstepped its authority. The federal government contends that Congress has the sole power to legislate issues dealing with immigration. issue. to legislate a matter that's solely a federal power.

"The core of Alabama's immigration law remains that if you live or work in the state, you should do so legally," Bentley said. "It is time now to move past court battles and focus on enforcement of Alabama's law..." 

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