Judge Blocks Part of Alabama Immigration Law For Being “Discriminatorily Based”

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 On Monday, a federal judge blocked enforcement of a provision in Alabama’s new anti-immigrant law that made it a felony for undocumented immigrants to do business with state or local government.

This provision was interpreted so as to make it a crime to apply for a marriage license or get a permit for a mobile home. Localities have been refusing to supply water and electricity to Latinos who could not prove their legal status.

U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson ruled in a case involving the owners of mobile homes who were about to lose their homes because the law prevented the owners from registering them.

The judge said that the law harmed both the undocumented and their US-citizen children. He wrote that the law’s “treatment of children in mixed-status families, who are overwhelmingly Latino, is so markedly different from the state’s historical treatment of children in general suggests strongly that the difference in treatment was driven by animus against Latinos in general and thus that the statute was discriminatorily based.”

The judge also quoted the sponsors of the law itself who repeatedly referred to local Latinos in derogatory terms and used phrases like “illegal immigrant” and “Hispanic” interchangeably.

Image courtesy of Anuska Sampedro via Flickr.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is Director of Legal Services at CARECEN and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra University. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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