tags: Press Releases

Alabama Law, Court Ruling Plays to Americans' Worst Fears, Not Best Instincts

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Only Federal Government Can Fix Broken Immigration System

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.

America’s Voice Education Fund — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.