Important Parts of Immigration Law Stand in Alabama

Katie Pavlich

9/28/2011 2:37:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

A federal judge has upheld some of the most "controversial" parts of the recently passed illegal immigration law in Alabama. Parts upheld include allowing local law enforcement to inquire about legal status after a criminal violation and before children can be enrolled in public schools.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn blocked some other parts of the law, which both supporters and critics say is the nation's toughest clampdown on illegal immigration by a state.

Blackburn wrote in her ruling that federal law doesn't prohibit the law's provisions on students or suspects pulled over by police. She didn't say when those and other parts of the law could take effect, but her previous order blocking enforcement expires on Thursday.

She temporarily blocked four parts of the law until she can issue a final ruling. Those measures would:

— Make it a crime for an illegal immigrant to solicit work.

— Make it a crime to transport or harbor an illegal immigrant.

— Allow discrimination lawsuits against companies that dismiss legal workers while hiring illegal immigrants.

— Forbid businesses from taking tax deductions for wages paid to workers who are in the country illegally.

Blackburn heard arguments from opponents including the Obama administration, immigrant-support groups and civil libertarians before it was supposed to take effect Sept. 1. The Justice Department contended the state law encroaches on the federal government's duty to enforce immigration law, and other opponents argued it violated basic rights to free speech and travel.

She put the entire law on hold last month, but didn't rule on whether it was constitutional, saying she needed more time.

Remember, Alabama is being sued by the Obama Adminstration and 15 other countries, including Mexico, have filed briefs with the Justice Department in support of the lawsuit.