The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked portions of the Alabama law that makes it a felony for an undocumented immigrant to do business with the state as well as another involving the enforcement of contracts with immigrants. The court said it won’t issue a ruling on Alabama’s law until the Supreme Court issues one on Arizona’s similar measure later this year.
The ruling came after a hearing last week when the U.S. Department of Justice and a group of plaintiffs argued that the two sections make it all but impossible for immigrants whose status is still in limbo and those here illegally to live in Alabama. The court did not block sections 12 and 18 that deal with seeking immigration status information for people during a traffic stop, those arrested or found driving without a license.
In a statement, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said the appeals court’s ruling that put the two provisions on hold “does not represent a final decision by the court.” “I strongly disagree with the 11th Circuit’s decision today to temporarily enjoin two provisions of the immigration law that the District Court upheld,” Strange said. “I will continue to vigorously defend Alabama’s immigration law in the courts. I am hopeful that the Supreme Court’s coming decision in the Arizona case will make clear that our law is constitutional.”
Arizona’s law, aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration, catapulted the issue onto the national stage in 2010, drawing a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice, which argues the law is unconstitutional. Since then, several other states have passed similar measures.
Alabama’s law, known as HB 56, would require police who make lawful traffic stops or arrests to try to determine the immigration status of anyone they suspect might be in the country illegally.