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Eleventh Circuit Enjoins Provisions of Alabama Immigration Law

By Robyn Hagan Cain on October 18, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily enjoined enforcement of two provisions of the new Alabama immigration law in response to the Obama administration’s emergency appeal challenging the law and a law suit filed by a coalition of civil rights groups.

The law, Alabama House Bill 56 (HB 56), “requires public schools to check students’ immigration status, criminalizes giving an undocumented immigrant a ride, requires employers to use E-Verify to check potential employees’ status, and instructs police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop if they suspect the person of being an undocumented immigrant,” reports the Latin America News Dispatch.

On Friday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals halted the public school residency checks, as well as a provision that criminalized failure to carry an alien registration card, reports Reuters.

The court, however, refused to enjoin three other provisions that the Obama administration challenged. Police will still be required to check the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants during "lawful" stops, illegal immigrants will continue to face felony charges for entering into "business transactions" in Alabama, and state courts will be barred from enforcing contracts involving undocumented immigrants, reports CNN.

Opponents argue that leaving the provisions in place will "exacerbate the humanitarian crisis" in the state.

"In just two weeks that the law has been in effect, families have been fleeing the state, children have been pulled out of schools, and businesses have been put in jeopardy. This law sadly revisits Alabama's painful racial past and tramples the rights of all its residents," the coalition said in a statement to Politico.

Alabama Republicans proposed HB 56 in an attempt to control illegal immigration in the state. Alabama's Hispanic population grew by 145 percent to over 185,000 people in the last decade, according to the AP.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on the Alabama immigration law on November 29, and should issue an opinion in the matter before the end of the year.

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