Human Rights

Multiple Agencies File Lawsuit Challenging Alabama’s Extreme Anti-Immigrant Law

Multiple Agencies File Lawsuit Challenging Alabama’s Extreme Anti-Immigrant Law

La Costa Latina

MONTGOMERY, ALA. -The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and a coalition of civil rights groups filed a class action lawsuit on July 21 challenging Alabama's extreme anti-immigrant law, HB 56, passed last month. The law is even more restrictive than the Arizona law it was inspired by--Arizona's SB 1070.

The Alabama law chills children's access to public schools by requiring school officials to verify the immigration status of children and their parents; authorizes police to demand "papers" demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops; and criminalizes Alabamians for ordinary, everyday interactions with undocumented individuals.

The lawsuit charges that the extreme law endangers public safety, invites the racial profiling of Latinos, Asians and others who appear foreign to an officer, and interferes with federal law.

The coalition filing the lawsuit includes the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Alabama, the National Immigration Law Center, the Asian Law Caucus, and the Asian American Justice Center.

The law is set to take effect September 1. The lawsuit charges that HB 56 is unconstitutional in that it unlawfully interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters, in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution; subjects Alabamians--including countless U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents--to unlawful search and seizure, in violation of the Fourth Amendment; unlawfully deters immigrant families from enrolling their children in public schools; unconstitutionally bars many lawfully present immigrants from attending public colleges or universities in Alabama; and drastically restricts the right to enter into contracts.

Alabama is the fifth state to have enacted laws...

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