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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    Group asks federal judge to stop immigration law

    Group asks federal judge to stop immigration law

    Posted: Jul 21, 2011 10:32 PM EDT Updated: Jul 21, 2011 10:32 PM EDT
    By Sherea Harris - bio | email
    BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

    A federal judge is asked to keep Alabama's illegal immigration law from going into effect while a bigger legal challenge plays out in court.

    The same group that's trying to get the law declared unconstitutional filed a request Thursday asking a federal judge for an injunction, which would block the law from taking effect on September first.

    Jose Hernandez says he came to the U.S. to work, not to commit crimes. Some of his family and friends have already quit their jobs and moved to other states before Alabama's new immigration law goes into effect.

    Hernandez said, "I don't feel like my friends and family are doing anything wrong. They just want to work for their families."

    That's why several civil rights groups are challenging the law asking the federal government to intervene.

    Jeremy Love, with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, said, "Hopefully the judge will say that the law should not go into effect while it's still in the court proceeding."

    Love says it only makes sense for the court to first determine if the law is unconstitutional before the state moves forward to enforce it. He said, "It's going to be a big burden on school systems, police and employers to have to figure out exactly how they are going to make sure they are following the law. And if it's not going to go into effect it would help them not to have to go that expense."

    House speaker Mike Hubbard reacted to today's filing. He said, "Make no mistake, this lawsuit will not undo Alabama's immigration law. If the court finds problems with parts of the law, tweaks can be made. But Alabama is not going to be a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants."

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  2. #2
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    Groups seek to block Alabama immigration law

    by Associated Press (July 21st, 2011 @ 5:16pm)
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    MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A coalition of civil rights groups asked a federal judge Thursday to block Alabama's tough new illegal immigration from taking effect Sept. 1.

    The request was filed in federal court in Huntsville by the same groups that have already sued over the law, which opponents and supporters say is the toughest of its kind in the nation.

    Federal courts have blocked all or parts of similar laws passed in four other states. Alabama's law allows police to detain people they suspect of being illegal immigrants after a traffic stop, requires schools to report the immigration status of students, and makes it illegal to knowingly transport or give shelter to an illegal immigrant.

    The motion filed Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center and other civil rights groups calls the law blatantly unconstitutional and asks a judge to stop it before it harms Alabama residents. An attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, Sam Brooke, said the motion seeks to stop the law from taking effect until the courts have issued a final ruling on the lawsuit.

    Meanwhile, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has filed a motion claiming the original lawsuit is vague, repetitive and does not give a legal reason for why the new law should be thrown out. Strange's motion asks U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn to order the plaintiffs to rewrite the original lawsuit and provide a clearer explanation of what's wrong with the law.

    Strange's motion challenges one statement in the original lawsuit that compared the new immigration law to ``the worst aspects of Alabama's history,'' referring to the state's segregationist past. Strange's motion calls that language ``impertinent and scandalous'' and asks that it be removed from the lawsuit.

    Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard said the lawsuit would not undo the immigration law and Alabama would not become a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants.

    ``If the court finds problems with parts of the law, tweaks can be made,'' Hubbard said. ``Alabama will have a strict immigration law, and we will enforce it.''

    Supporters of the new law have argued that it only involves the activities of illegal immigrants and that anyone who is in the country legally or who is a U.S. citizen should not be concerned.

    But Brooke said the new law involves average Alabama citizens in immigration decisions by making it illegal for them to enter into a contract or even give a ride to the store to an illegal immigrant.

    ``You as a private citizen have no way of knowing what the immigration status is of a person,'' Brooke said.

    The lawsuit claims that it's the federal government's duty to enforce immigration law and that Alabama's law encroaches on that authority.

    But Senate president pro tem Republican Sen. Del Marsh of Anniston said Alabama officials have tired of waiting for the federal government to act. ``While the federal government has looked the other way on this issue, Alabama's illegal immigrant population has exploded nearly 400 percent over the last decade,'' Marsh said. With Alabama's unemployment rate over 9 percent, Marsh said it's important to make sure state residents aren't being passed over for jobs in favor of those who are here illegally.

    State Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, House sponsor of the bill, said it is already having the effect supporters had hoped by forcing immigrants in the country illegally to leave the state.

    ``These far-left, liberal groups have filed an injunction because those who live here illegally and break our laws with their simple presence are packing up and leaving Alabama. That was the intent of the bill in the first place - to protect our borders and our jobs,'' Hammon said.

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