Bloggings on Immigration Law and Policy

by Greg Siskind

August 21, 2012

Alabama's New Immigration Law Mostly Struck Down By the Courts

HB87, the Alabama answer to Arizona's SB1070, has been dealt a major blow by the less than liberal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. From NCLR:

Yesterday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta struck down major portions of the anti-immigrant laws passed in Alabama and Georgia, including a provision requiring Alabama public school officials to determine the immigration status of enrolling students. In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070, a federal court once again rejected these states’ attempts to take federal law into their own hands.

“In a common-sense decision, the 11th Circuit Court put a stop to perhaps the single most egregious provision yet in this slew of anti-immigrant laws, bringing an end to the chaos and fear that students in Alabama have endured since this law was passed,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza). “The Court’s ruling makes clear that children should not be put in the crosshairs of a political debate.”

The court also blocked the Alabama provisions that would have invalidated contracts with undocumented immigrants and criminalized the failure to carry immigration documents. In both Alabama and Georgia, the court determined that states could not criminalize the transporting or harboring of certain immigrants. As with the Supreme Court, the federal court in Atlanta explicitly left the door open to future challenges to the racial profiling provisions known as “show me your papers” or “papers, please.”

“Unfortunately, the ‘papers, please’ provision was allowed to go forward,” said Murguía. “As we have stated repeatedly, it is a false solution that many states have already rejected and whose only effect will be negative and harmful. But there is no doubt in our mind that this provision will also eventually be overturned.”

Following the lead of the US Supreme Court, the 11th Circuit left the police stops provision in place until the law is actually implemented. At that point, potential plaintiffs can sue if it is implemented in an unconstitutional manner.

Horn Tooting

Just found out I made the Who'sWhoLegal international list of the Top 16 corporate immigration lawyers. They're the research partner of both the International Bar Association and the American Bar Association's Section of International Law. I know all the other lawyers on the list - several of whom are good friends - and am really honored to be in their company.

Nashville Drops 287(g) Program

Nashville is one of America's great cities, but it has a nutty sheriff who wants to steal some of Sheriff Joe's thunder. Daron Hall has been high profile enough that Immigrant's List posted him on it's top 10 list of shame. Here is their description of one particularly unsavory act by Sheriff Hall:

If you've had children, you'll never forget the day they were born: the look on their face, the sound of their cry, the weight of the infant in your arms. And if you're Juana Villegas, you'll remember the clink of your chains.

Juana is an undocumented immigrant who was 9 months pregnant when she was arrested for a traffic offense. Shortly after being detained, Juana went into labor. Sheriff Daron Hall forced her to be shackled during labor and denied a breast pump during postpartum recovery. On the witness stand in a lawsuit over her treatment, Villegas remembered that after delivery, she tried not to move much because the clink of the leg chains would disturb her sleeping newborn. For any parent, it's a heartless way to be treated. For any newborn, it's a tragic way to come into the world. But if you're an undocumented immigrant, Sheriff Daron Hall wouldn't have it any other way.

Now Sheriff Hall appears to be backing down somewhat. He's dropping Nashville's participation in the 287(g) program and instead opting for Secure Communities, a program that has garnered criticism, but not nearly as much as the 287(g) program.

My Deferred Action FAQ

Here's my updated DACA FAQ. If you would like to cross link or distribute, please let me know first. I'm generally pretty liberal about granting permission to distribute, but still like to sign off.

Siskind Susser DACA FAQ

Steve King Treads in to Abortion Controversy

This is not technically an immigration story, but since Steve King is vice-chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee and one of the most vocal anti-immigration members of Congress, his political predicaments are important to the immigration debate. Apparently, King doesn't think child rape or incest leads to pregnancy so there's no problem banning abortions for those situations. I'm not going to get in to whether this is true or not (though you can probably guess my opinion since I'm sure it is the same as most people). But given that King is involved in a very tough re-election campaign, this little remark could mean a lot.

About The Author

Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna *** 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

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