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Controversial Alabama Immigration Law Upheld In Part

Sep 28, 2011

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Reported by

Mark Memmott

A federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., has blocked some provisions of a controversial immigration law in the state — most notably those that would "make it a state crime to harbor immigrants and make it a misdemeanor to work in the state" — the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

Other parts of the law were upheld. The newspaper adds that:

"U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Blackburn said the federal government had not met requirements to enjoin sections that make it a crime to not carry documentation, allow law enforcement to detain those they find to have 'reasonable suspicion' of being in the country illegally after stops; require schools to collect information on the immigration status of students and forbid state and local agencies from doing business with undocumented aliens."

As NPR's Debbie Elliott reported in August:

"The state's Republican leaders say they passed the toughest immigration bill in the country to preserve jobs for Alabamians. But critics say the law goes too far, criminalizing all kinds of contact with undocumented residents and putting an extra burden on small business."

The Associated Press adds that "both supporters and critics say [the law] is the nation's toughest clampdown on illegal immigration by a state."

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