U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn issued a major ruling today that upheld most parts of Alabama's immigration enforcement law that the state legislature passed earlier this year. The bill, which included mandatory E-Verify and a trespassing ordinance, was regarded as the strongest immigration enforcement bill passed at the state level.
Unlike rulings made by a federal district court and circuit court of appeals on Arizon'a SB1070, Judge Blackburn upheld the provision that allows police officers to ask for proof of legal status during routine police stops.
Judge Blackburn also upheld provisions that require schools to check the immigration status of students, nullify contracts signed by illegal aliens, and makes it a felony for illegal aliens to apply for a license plate, driver's license, or business license.
The provisions blocked by Judge Blackburn include:
- Stopping an "unauthorized alien" from seeking work as an employee or independent contractor.
- Criminalizing those who assist unauthorized aliens. She blocked a large section which would make it against the law to conceal, harbor, transport or encourage an illegal alien to stay in Alabama. This includes portions of the law referring to landlords.
- Stopping businesses from deducting the wages they pay to unauthorized aliens from their state taxes.
- Stopping the state from creating a new protected class of workers. The new law would have allowed workers who were not hired or fired instead of unauthorized aliens to sue employers for discrimination.
The lawsuit was led by the U.S. Attorney General's Office. Most provisions of the law were set to go into effect on September 1, but Judge Blackburn issued an injunction until she could rule on the case.
Updated: Thu, Sep 29th 2011 @ 2:43pm EDT