DOJ Permanently Blocks Alabama’s Immigration Control Law
NOVEMBER 26, 2013
A law passed by Alabama legislators to curb illegal immigration has been permanently blocked by the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ), which announced this week that the measure “punished immigrant children for exercising their constitutional right to go to school,” among other things.
The law made it a state crime to be an undocumented alien and made it illegal for them to work in the state. It also allowed police to detain those suspected of being in the country illegally, made it a crime to rent a house or apartment to an illegal immigrant and criminalized contracts with illegal aliens. Additionally, new public school students were required to provide immigration information to enroll.
The DOJ followed the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) footsteps in quickly filing a lawsuit to block Alabama’s law shortly after it passed in 2011. Like the ACLU, the DOJ accused Alabama of crossing a constitutional line, asserting that the law would lead to “the harassment and detention of foreign visitors, legal immigrants and even U.S. citizens who may not be able to readily prove their lawful status.” The feds also claimed the measure would burden children by demanding that students prove their lawful presence, which in turn, discourages parents from enrolling them in school.
Years of litigation and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, Alabama has lost the battle against the federal government to control illegal immigration within its boundaries. This week a federal court in the northern district of Alabama entered a final judgment resolving the lengthy conflict and permanently prohibiting the state from enforcing most of the provisions in its 2011 law. A group of open borders organizations had also joined the DOJ in the legal battle so the state was clearly at a disadvantage.
Besides claiming that Alabama’s law is unconstitutional, the DOJ said it threatened to impose significant burdens on federal and state agencies by diverting their resources away from dangerous criminal aliens and other high-profile criminal activity. The federal government is already making the nation safer, according to the DOJ attorney handling the case, by “aggressively prosecuting and deporting criminal aliens in record numbers.”
Alabama’s law would have diverted the attention of state and local authorities from violent criminals to ordinary families, the DOJ prosecutor says, adding that it also would have “forced parents to uproot their sons and daughters from their home.” Additionally, the law would have punished immigrant children for exercising their constitutional right to go to school, according to the DOJ.
The Obama DOJ has colluded with the ACLU to challenge other immigration control laws, including those in Arizona, South Carolina and Utah. In fact, the agency’s bloated civil rights division, formerly headed by a renowned illegal immigrant advocate (now Labor Secretary Thomas Perez), created a secret group to monitor laws passed by states and local municipalities to curb illegal immigration. The undercover body is known as the National Origin Working Group.
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