Tuesday Aug 21, 201212:16 AM GMT
US court bans Alabama from checking kids' immigration status
Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:16AM
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A federal appeals court has ruled it is unconstitutional for Alabama to check the immigration status of school children when they enroll, or to require illegal immigrants to carry identification.

 

The 11 Circuit Court of Appeals did uphold provisions of the state immigration law that allow police to stop people they have a "reasonable suspicion" of being in the country unlawfully, and to ask about the immigration status of motorists without drivers' licenses.

 

But the court also struck down a provision that barred residents and businesses from entering into contracts with people who are in the state illegally, the Montgomery Advertiser says. The court ruled that the intent of the provision, known as Section 27 of the state's tough immigration law, was "forcing undocumented individuals out of Alabama."

 

"To say that section 27 is extraordinary and unprecedented would be an understatement," the court wrote in its ruling.

 

Regarding immigration checks for students, the court determined that such a requirement would cause "significant interference with the children's right to education" and therefore violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

 

The ACLU, which challenged the law, welcomed the ruling. USA Today

 

FACTS & FIGURES

 

Judges said fear of the law "significantly deters undocumented children from enrolling in and attending school ...." Sacramento Bee

 

Both private groups and the Obama administration filed lawsuits to block the law considered the toughest in the country. Sacramento Bee

 

The court, however, upheld parts of immigration laws in Alabama and Georgia allowing law enforcement to check documents for people they stop. Sacramento Bee

 

Georgia and Alabama are among several states that have enacted anti-illegal immigration laws in recent years. Proponents have argued they are necessary in part because of alleged federal inaction. Opponents have argued that many of the laws are punitive to immigrants and that policy must be steered by the federal government. Sacramento Bee

 

SM/SM

 

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