Plagued By Enforcement Issues, Alabama Suspends Part of Law Targeting Immigrants

 Alabama is putting part of its anti-immigrant law on hold voluntarily, at least for now. The law, HB 56, required proof of citizenship or legal residence to carry out even the most basic transactions with government entities. This requirement was clogging local government offices with long lines of applicants for all kinds of permits, leaving untrained staff to try to make sense of the myriad documents being offered as proof of identity.

Because HB 56 went into effect without proper training, government workers were turning away people legally here simply because they could not understand their legal documentation. The law makes it a felony for a government worker to serve an undocumented immigrant in all but a few cases, so civil servants were routinely erring on the side of denial.

Alabama’s attorney general says that this portion of the law will ultimately go back into effect, but he has offered no timetable.

Image courtesy of UMWomen via Flickr.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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