Bloomberg News

Alabama Immigration Law Should Stay on Hold, Groups Say

September 29, 2011

(Updates with group’s argument in fourth paragraph.)

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- New Alabama immigration laws cleared for enforcement by a U.S. judge should be blocked until a federal appeals court has reviewed legal challenges, a coalition of civil rights groups said.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center and other groups today asked U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn in Birmingham, Alabama, for an order staying application of those laws she deemed enforcible in a trio of rulings yesterday, while the organizations pursue an appeal.

Blackburn’s decision allows Alabama authorities to question the status of people detained or arrested, upon reasonable suspicion they’re in the U.S. illegally, and criminalizes an illegal resident’s failure to carry alien-registration papers.

Enforcement of the provisions will cause irreparable harm to people who have filed suit challenging the legislation signed into law by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on June 9, the groups said in papers filed at the U.S. court in Birmingham today.

In a separate filing, the organizations said they are asking a federal appeals court in Atlanta to review Blackburn’s decision.

The case is Hispanic Interest Coalition v. Bentley, 11cv2484, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham).

The two related cases are Parsley v. Bentley, 5:11-cv-2736 and U.S. v. Bentley, 5:11-cv-2746, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham).

--With assistance from Laurence Viele Davidson in Atlanta. Editors: Mary Romano, Peter Blumberg

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in Chicago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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