Alabama Judge Temporarily Blocks New Immigration Legislation

A brief order by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn blocked an Alabama law from taking effect today, due to suspect constitutionality of the legislation. Alabama’s regulations would be much more stringent than the oft-criticized Arizona version. Alabama’s immigration law passed last spring without much issue; however, it did not take effect today due to the controversy the law has stirred.  Opponents have been viciously attacking the law due to its requirement of illegal aliens to be identified in the school system by demonstrating birth certificates, and while it does not prevent educating them, it clearly has a stigma-inducing effect. It also seeks to punish U.S. citizens for aiding and abetting illegal aliens, including transporting and sheltering them. Further, it makes applying for work with false identification a felony, subjecting the an illegal immigrant simply looking for work to years in prison. It also allows local police, and even citizens,  to arrest illegal aliens, not just report them to INS.

This law flies in the face of the so-called “backdoor amnesty” law that Obama has proposed. That law would allow thousands of immigrants who are here illegally to remain here so long as they have not committed crimes. The Alabama legislation seeks to punish, either through the penal system or through social stigma, those immigrants who came into the country illegally. It will be interesting to see how these two polarizing policies come to fruition in the coming weeks.

If you or someone you know is facing an Immigration issue, please contact one of our attorneys at Miller|Conway at 843.764.3334. We are a Goose Creek law firm serving Charleston and the Greater South Carolina area. We are here for you when you need us.