UPDATE @ 5:58 PM: America’s Voice just issued a statement about today’s “outlier” decision on the Alabama law:
In an outlier court decision that runs contrary to every other federal court that has ruled on the issues, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn today upheld the most outrageous and discriminatory parts of Alabama’s immigration law enacted earlier this year.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund: “This is an ugly law and an outrageous ruling. The federal government is in charge of immigration policy and it is the federal government’s job to fix what is broken. State laws like Alabama’s won’t fix anything; they just make a bad system worse and pit groups against each other. The Alabama law plays to Americans’ worst fears rather than our best instincts. We need to demand more from our representatives, both in the statehouses and in Congress.”
The ruling will allow the state to require cops to demand “papers, please” from anyone they suspect may be undocumented, and require public schools to demand documentation from parents of all children in K-12 programs. The ruling will also allow provisions in the Alabama law to go forward that void any contract signed by an undocumented person and make it a felony for any undocumented immigrant to apply for a driver’s license or even a license plate.
The ruling was friendly to Alabama employers and business owners by blocking pieces of the state legislation which would have penalized individuals for hiring or encouraging undocumented workers to stay in Alabama. But it sidestepped important issues on procedural grounds, ruling, for example, that civic organizations who brought suit did not have “standing” to seek an injunction stopping the status checks of parents of schoolchildren.
Devastating news from Alabama today in the lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice.
Federal District Court Judge Sharon Blackburn ruled that several sections of Alabama’s worst-in-the-nation immigration law, including the provision that mandates schools to check on the status of children, can take effect. Several other parts of the law have been blocked. Again, this ruling is based on the DOJ suit. We’re still waiting for the Judge’s ruling in the lawsuit brought by a coalition of civil rights groups.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn blocked some other parts of the law, which both supporters and critics say is the nation’s toughest clampdown on illegal immigration by a state.
Blackburn said in her ruling issued Wednesday that federal law doesn’t prohibit the state from requiring schools to check the immigration status of students or from requiring police to determine the status of suspected illegal immigrants.
She upheld the Obama administration’s objections to other sections of the law, including making it a crime for an illegal immigrant to solicit work or for anyone to transport or harbor an illegal immigrant.
More from the Associated Press on the sections that Blackburn continued to block:
She temporarily blocked four parts of the law until she can issue a final ruling. Those measures would:
— Make it a crime for an illegal immigrant to solicit work.
— Make it a crime to transport or harbor an illegal immigrant.
— Allow discrimination lawsuits against companies that dismiss legal workers while hiring illegal immigrants.
— Forbid businesses from taking tax deductions for wages paid to workers who are in the country illegally.
The opinion can be viewed here. We will have more later.