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11th Circuit Blocks School and Alien Registration Provisions in Alabama Immigration Law

Posted Oct 14, 2011 2:00 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal appeals court has blocked two provisions in Alabama’s tough immigration law, including a requirement for public schools to check the immigration status of students.

The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today issued an order granting the stays, report CNN, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News. The other blocked provision made it a misdemeanor for unlawful immigrants to fail to carry an alien registration card.

Since the Alabama law passed this summer, many Hispanic students have not gone to school and many Hispanic families have left the state, the Associated Press says. The measure has been called the toughest immigration law in the country.

The court’s order (PDF) refused to grant temporary stays of four other sections of the law, including one requiring police who make lawful stops or arrests to try to determine the immigration status of those people they suspect are unauthorized aliens.

The 11th Circuit ruled in two consolidated suits. One was brought by the U.S. Justice Department and the other by a coalition of civil rights groups.

The Obama administration had argued in its request for the temporary stay that the Alabama law unconstitutionally infringes on the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration.

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