On Monday, a U.S. District judge signed a settlement that permanently blocks Alabama from enforcing seven key provisions of an anti-immigration law designed to make life as harsh as possible for undocumented immigrants. The settlement finalizes the agreement reached last month by the Justice Department, civil rights groups, and other plaintiffs.
The settlement upholds a previous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit which stated that the provisions were unconstitutional because they conflicted with federal immigration law and “undermined federal immigration-enforcement efforts.”
The blocked provisions affected all aspects of daily life including: making contracts with undocumented immigrants, requiring students to provide legal status for public school enrollment, barring undocumented to make transactions with governments, carrying proof of legal status at all times, employment, allowing state and local law enforcement officials to check the legal status of suspected undocumented immigrants during routine traffic stops, and allowing law enforcement immigrants officials to hold immigrants without bond.
Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery of the Justice Department’s Civil Division said, “In striking down these provisions of H.B. 56, the district court and the Eleventh Circuit have reaffirmed that federal law precludes a patchwork of immigration laws of the type that interferes with federal enforcement, foreign policy, and the rights of lawfully present aliens.”
Studies find that state and local anti-immigration enforcement policies come at the price of “missing their intended targets“– instead driving out college-educated immigrants into other parts of the country.