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AL Immigration Law Blocked: Can't Check Student Immigration Status

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on August 22, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Parts of Alabama's immigration law were struck down in an 11th Circuit decision published Monday. The law was intended to step-up policing of undocumented immigrants.

The law included some pieces that were similar to those ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court earlier this year. Sections requiring immigrants to carry documents at all times and criminalizing transport or illegal immigrants were struck down, reports the Chicago Tribune.

A rule unique to Alabama that affects children was also struck down by the court. The ruling noted that it violated Equal Protection.

The Alabama immigration law originally included a provision that required public schools to check a child's immigration status when they enrolled in school. No other state has attempted to pass a similar rule.

The court struck down the provision on Equal Protection grounds, saying it violated the rights of those children affected, reports Bloomberg Businessweek

Under Equal Protection, government organizations cannot discriminate among citizens based on a variety of factors, including alienage or immigration status, unless there is a rational government interest involved. It appears in this case the court did not believe there was one.

The rule would unfairly single out undocumented children and deter them from attending school, according to the court's opinion.

This provision and others were struck down but some were left in place. Most notably the 'show me your papers' rule upheld in Arizona that allows enforcement to demand documentation from criminal suspects was upheld.

The Alabama immigration law ruling comes just in time too. All students can now freely register for school without fear of repercussions.

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