Alabama’s “heinous school provision” struck down by federal court: NCLR

This week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals inAtlanta struck down major portions of the anti-immigrant laws passed inAlabama andGeorgia, including a provision requiringAlabama public school officials to determine the immigration status of enrolling students.  In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling onArizona’s SB1070, a federal court once again rejected these states’ attempts to take federal law into their own hands.

“In a common-sense decision, the 11th Circuit Court put a stop to perhaps the single most egregious provision yet in this slew of anti-immigrant laws, bringing an end to the chaos and fear that students in Alabama have endured since this law was passed,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza).  “The Court’s ruling makes clear that children should not be put in the crosshairs of a political debate.”

The court also blocked theAlabamaprovisions that would have invalidated contracts with undocumented immigrants and criminalized the failure to carry immigration documents.  In bothAlabamaandGeorgia, the court determined that states could not criminalize the transporting or harboring of certain immigrants.  As with the Supreme Court, the federal court inAtlantaexplicitly left the door open to future challenges to the racial profiling provisions known as “show me your papers” or “papers, please.”

“Unfortunately, the ‘papers, please’ provision was allowed to go forward,” said Murguía.  “As we have stated repeatedly, it is a false solution that many states have already rejected and whose only effect will be negative and harmful.  But there is no doubt in our mind that this provision will also eventually be overturned.”

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