Federal Judge Blocks Alabama’s Immigration Law

A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against Alabama’s controversial immigration crackdown, ruling that she needed more time to determine whether the law is constitutional. The law had been scheduled to go into effect on September 1st.U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn ruled Monday that the law will not go into effect Thursday, but she will rule on the merits of the law by September 29th.

“In entering this motion the court specifically notes it is in no way addressing the merits of the motions,” Blackburn wrote.

The law would, among other things, made it a crime for an illegal immigrant to be in the state, and additionally would criminalize hiring or renting property to illegal immigrants. The Department of Justice sued to block the law, arguing that it interferes with federal immigration policies and is therefore unconstitutional.

Blackburn said in a hearing last week that “there are a lot of problems with this statute” and that it could lead to a number of unlawful arrest suits, though she added that she had not yet made up her mind about its constitutionality.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), who signed the law on June 9, said in a statement Monday: “I look forward to the Judge ruling on the merits. We have long needed a tough law against illegal immigration in this state, and we now have one. I will continue to fight at every turn to defend this law against any and all challenges.”

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