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Federal judge temporarily blocks Alabama illegal immigration legislation

On Monday, August 29, 2011, U. S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn stayed the Alabama Illegal Immigration H.R. 56 until at least Sept. 29. Judge Blackburn did not comment on the constitutionality of the legislation nor did she block any part of the measure.

The judge indicated she required additional time for review to examine the lawsuits against the legislation. The Obama Justice Department, civil-rights groups and Catholic, United Methodist and Episcopal churches in Alabama all filed against the enactment of the bill. During the hearing she expressed to the church representatives she saw no cause for alarm on their part.

Blackburn expressed concern for the provision requiring school districts to check legal status. Her other concern was with the provision allowing law enforcement to detain a person while checking their legal status.

There appears to be no question the E-Verify requirement for employers will go into effect April 1, 2012. Employers who knowingly violate the law will face significant penalties.

The Southeast Farm Press reports the Alabama Farmers Federation supports secure borders and immigration reform, but maintains this new legislation does not provide an adequate method of obtaining legal workers.

Dan Stein, Federation for American Immigration Reform, speaking on Fox News Tuesday morning felt the law had a good chance to win. He applauded Judge Blackburn for her careful concern to closely examine the merits in the proposed Alabama law and the petitions of the opposition. Republican members of the Alabama legislature, who authored the legislation, indicated satisfaction with the measured response also.


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