Blogs on Immigration Law and Policy


by

Greg Siskind









Supreme Court Strikes Another Nail in the Coffin of Alabama Immigration Law






From the National Immigration Law Center:



Supreme
Court Rejects Alabama’s Request to Review the State’s Anti-immigrant Law




Eleventh Circuit Appeals
Court Ruling Blocking Law’s Criminalizing Acts of Kindness Remains in Place


WASHINGTON —
The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected the state of Alabama’s request to review
a provision of the state’s anti-immigrant law that was blocked by the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit last year.




In February, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange petitioned the Supreme
Court to consider the provision of the law that criminalizes neighborly acts of
kindness, or Section 13, the “harboring and transporting” provision. This
provision criminalized individuals who engaged in routine daily activities with
undocumented immigrants.




The circuit court has blocked most of Alabama’s anti-immigrant law as
unconstitutional, including provisions that would have chilled Latino student
access to Alabama elementary schools.




Last summer, the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona’s SB 1070, which
served as a model for the Alabama law. The Court ruled that much of the Arizona
law was unconstitutional because it interfered with federal authority over
immigration.




“The Supreme Court has rightly struck another nail in the coffin of laws that
attempt to sanction racial profiling,” said Karen Tumlin, managing attorney for
the National Immigration Law Center. “Alabama’s legislators, both at the state
and at the federal levels should take note: they, like the rest of the country,
should move forward, not backward, to bring our immigration laws in line with
our societal and economic needs.”




*“The Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the case was expected,” said
Sam Brooke, staff attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “The high court
invalidated most of Arizona’s immigration law last year, stating unequivocally
that immigration is a federal issue and states may not create their own
enforcement schemes. That is why the lower courts already blocked Alabama’s
law.” Mr. Brooke further noted, “We need meaningful and comprehensive
immigration reform from Washington, D.C. Hopefully the lessons learned from
H.B. 56 will motivate Congress to act quickly to address this pressing issue.”


“The Supreme
Court made the right decision not to hear this case,” said Cecillia Wang,
director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “All the lower federal courts
– and the court of public opinion – have said no to divisive state laws like
this one, and Americans have moved on* to support immigration reform that
creates a new common sense immigration system.”




The Eleventh Circuit has also blocked the following provisions of the law:



  • Section
    10, which criminalized failing to register one’s immigration status
    (blocked by the Eleventh Circuit);

  • Section
    11(a), which criminalized the solicitation of work (blocked by the
    Eleventh Circuit);

  • Sections
    11(f) and (g), which criminalized day laborers’ first amendment right to
    solicit work (blocked by the District Court in Birmingham and not
    appealed); and

  • Section
    27, which infringed on the ability of individuals to contract with someone
    who was undocumented (blocked by the Eleventh Circuit);

  • Section
    28, which requires the immigration verification of newly enrolled K-12
    students (blocked by the Eleventh Circuit).



Today’s order from the Supreme Court came in the
parallel case of United
States v. Alabama, but the provisions were also challenged by
private plaintiffs in HICA
v. Bentley.* The civil rights organizations involved in HICA v. Bentley, the
class-action challenge to Alabama’s anti-immigrant law, include the Southern
Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Alabama,
the National Immigration Law Center, the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian American
Justice Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the
National Day Laborers’ Organizing Network, and LatinoJustice-PRLDEF.









About The Author




http://www.visalaw.com/gregpic2.jpg Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at gsiskind@visalaw.com.






The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.