Skip to content

Alabama Immigration Law Partially Blocked

Most provisions of a harsh Alabama immigration law were blocked by a federal appeals court on Friday, ending their enforcement until the court can determine whether the law violates the Constitution.

The law, H.B. 56, allows police and some government officials to demand proof of legal status if they have “reasonable suspicion” a person may be in the country illegally. While Alabama police will still be able to detain people they determine are in the country illegally, they will no longer be allowed to stop people they believe to be undocumented immigrants based on “reasonable suspicion.”

The court ruled that four sections would be put on hold, CNNreported. Among the provisions that have been temporarily blocked:

  • One requiring state officials to check the immigration status of students in public schools
  • One making “willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration card” a misdemeanor for immigrants

But the state will be allowed to enforce these contested sections:

  • One requiring that police during “lawful” stops or arrests “attempt to determine the immigration status of a person who they suspect is an unauthorized alien of this country.” That provision is similar to other laws aiming to crack down on illegal immigration passed by other state legislatures over the past year.
  • One barring state courts from enforcing contracts involving undocumented immigrants, if the hiring party had a “direct or constructive” knowledge that the person was in the country unlawfully.
  • One making it a felony for illegal immigrants to enter into a “business transaction” in Alabama, including applying for a driver’s license or a business license.