Federal Court Blocks Parts of Alabama's Immigration Law


Last Friday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta temporarily blocked certain provisions of a recent Alabama law aimed at limiting illegal immigration. Most notably, the court blocked the part of the law that required state officials to check the immigration status of children upon their enrollment in public schools, as well as a provision requiring that immigrants carry an alien registration card.

Some of the other controversial portions of the law were upheld by the court, however, including one requiring that police try to determine the immigration status of drivers during traffic stops.

Some of the law's effects were already evident before Friday's injunction, and more are becoming apparent this week.

The AP reported that an experiment to find unemployed local workers to fill farm labor jobs normally done by immigrants has failed miserably. (Sound familiar?) The AP notes the disappointment of the man behind the project, Jerry Spencer of Grow Alabama:

After two weeks, Spencer said Monday, the experiment is a failure. Jobless resident Americans lack the physical stamina and the mental toughness to see the job through, he said, and there's not much of a chance a new state program to fill the jobs will fare better.

In Baldwin County, in southern Alabama, school officials have reported "a major dip in attendance of Hispanic students" in the past three weeks, before last week's injunction blocked the law's provision related to school enrollment. The minister of a local Hispanic church said he's contemplating whether to renew the church's lease due to dwindling attendance.

In a new position paper, University of Alabama economist Sam Addy estimated that the immigration law could cost the state's economy $40 million. His calculation assumes an exodus of 10,000 undocumented immigrants who were making $5,000 year, remitting 20 percent of their earnings back home across the border. 

Background on Alabama's immigration law is here and here.