Sides claim victory on immigration lawPublished 6:04am Wednesday, August 22, 2012
A federal appeals court ruled Monday that sections of Alabama’s tough immigration laws were unconstitutional, while upholding other sections.
The court ruled that a part of the law that required schools to collect data on the immigration status of students was unconstitutional and continued to block its implementation.
But the court ruled that a section allowing law enforcement officers to check the status of people they stop was upheld.
Both sides of the immigration law claimed victory Monday.
“We are pleased that this ruling has sent a strong message to Alabama and other states that they cannot enact hate-filled laws to try to drive an entire class of people from their borders,” said Mary Bauer, legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“We are thrilled that students returning to schools this week will return to safer and more welcoming environments. We will continue to challenge the provisions left in place because, as we have already seen in Alabama, these laws cannot be enforced without racial profiling.”
Republican lawmakers, however, touted the ruling as a victory.
“The Court is recognizing the state’s authority to inquire on immigration status in certain circumstances. The Court is also allowing the public records transaction provision to continue to be enforced,” Gov. Robert Bentley said.
“This law is needed because the federal government has refused to enforce its own policies. The federal government has also failed to approach immigration reform in a comprehensive manner.
“The core of Alabama’s immigration law remains that if you live or work in the state, you should do so legally. It is time now to move past court battles and focus on enforcement of Alabama’s law. We worked closely with legislators to clarify, simplify, and strengthen Alabama’s immigration law this year, and the essence of that law has been upheld.”