The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision halts two sections that would “make it a felony for an illegal immigrant to do business with the state” and “courts can’t enforce contracts involving illegal immigrants.”
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The law has been challenged in both Arizona and Georgia by the U.S. Supreme Court and various activist groups.
“We are very pleased that the Eleventh Circuit understood the harms these provisions were causing in Alabama, and saw fit to enjoin them,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Sam Brooke, who argued before the panel last week. “This is a great day for the residents of our state.”
Alabama, a state known for it’s propensity to suppress civil rights, is of course contesting the move:
“I will continue to vigorously defend Alabama’s immigration law in the courts,” said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. “I am hopeful that the Supreme Court’s coming decision in the Arizona case will make clear that our law is constitutional.”
According to the Associated Press, Arizona’s strict immigration laws are the catalyst for the pending law:
After Arizona adopted its tough law in 2010, five other states – Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah – adopted variations on it last year, with Alabama’s widely considered the toughest in the nation. All five laws have been challenged by coalitions of civil rights and immigrant rights groups, and the federal government has sued to block those in Alabama, South Carolina and Utah.
The conservative states claim that they have had to make these moves because the federal government refused to act.