A coalition of groups seeking to overturn Alabama’s strict new immigration law have asked a federal judge to block implementation of the law in a filing today.
The ACLU, SPLC and National Immigration Law Center were among the 38 plaintiffs that filed suit against the law earlier this month, calling it an anti-American law that violated the Constitution and would lead to racial profiling.
“Plaintiffs respectfully submit that this Court should enjoin HB 56 because it is a blatantly unconstitutional state law that regulates immigration and will require Alabama state and local officers to violate core constitutional rights,” says the filing, made in U.S. District Court in Huntsville.
A request for comment from Attorney General Luther Strange’s office was not immediately returned.
HB56, signed into law by Gov. Robert Bentley on June 9, makes it a crime to be an undocumented alien in Alabama and for aliens to work in Alabama. In addition, the law:
– Allows law enforcement officers to detain individuals they have a “reasonable suspicion” of having questionable immigration status;
– Requires proof of citizenship to be carried at all times;
– Requires school districts to ask for the immigration status of students;
– Bans undocumented aliens from attending post-secondary schools;
– Makes it illegal to give an undocumented worker a ride to work;
– Provides non-criminal penalties for businesses that employ undocumented aliens;
– Requires businesses to enroll in the E-Verify program starting April 1, 2012.
Defenders of the law say it is a response to the federal government’s lack of action on enforcing immigration laws, and claim it will boost employment in the state.
The request for a preliminary injunction says the law’s intent is “to control which classes of immigrants can enter and the conditions under which they can remain in Alabama – a brazen usurpation of the federal government’s exclusive authority.”
If the injunction is not granted, most provisions of the law will go into effect on Sept. 1.
– posted by Brian Lyman