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Federal Judge Upholds Part of Alabama Immigration Law
Posted By Cully Stimson On September 28, 2011 @ 6:04 pm In Legal | Comments Disabled
There is more good news today in the fight against illegal immigration at the state level (and bad news for the Obama Administration’s policy against enforcement of immigration laws).
This afternoon, federal district court Judge Sharon Blackburn in Alabama issued an opinion refusing the Obama Administration’s request that the court enjoin (that is, prevent from going into force) large portions of the comprehensive and controversial Alabama immigration law (H.B. 56). Recall that the Obama Justice Department (DOJ) had filed a complaint against the State of Alabama in federal court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. DOJ claimed that various provisions of H.B. 56 were preempted by federal law and therefore violated the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
However, the legal landscape regarding preemption in the area of immigration law changed dramatically when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting on May 26, 2001. As we wrote here , the high court upheld an Arizona state law that forced employers to use the E-Verify system and revoked the business licenses of employers who knowingly hired illegal immigrants. Alabama’s new law has similar provisions.
The Department of Justice also argued in that case that federal immigration law and the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution preempted the State of Arizona from taking such actions, but the DOJ lost that argument.
It is against that backdrop that Judge Blackburn issued her 115-page opinion today, in which she held that the Justice Department did not meet the legal requirements for a preliminary injunction on various provisions of H.B. 56. Specifically, she denied the motion for the preliminary injunction on:
The federal court granted the federal government’s motion for a preliminary motion on four sections of H.B. 56, including provisions that made it a misdemeanor for illegal aliens to work; for someone to harbor, encourage, or transport an illegal alien; which forbid employers from claiming any wages paid to an illegal alien as business tax deductions; and that allowed civil suits against employers for hiring illegal aliens.
The Administration can appeal Blackburn’s ruling, but major portions of Alabama’s new law are now in effect.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/09/28/federal-judge-upholds-part-of-alabama-immigration-law/
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 here: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/08/Ruling-on-States-Immigration-Law-Enforcement-and-EVerify-Use
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