After much legal wrangling and posturing, a federal judge has issued the injunction that blocks the enforcement of the much-maligned Alabama law on illegal immigration. The injunction was issued as the judge wanted more time to decide if the said state law was not unconstitutional.
The order was issued by US District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn and would become effective after Thursday. The stay was lauded by Republican leaders as they still are hoping that one of the toughest laws on illegal immigrants would still remain in force and effect after the judicial review.
Judge Blackburn’s order did not say if the law was not unconstitutional nor did she provide a preview as to what aspects of the questioned law would be removed. What her stay order said was that she needed more time to review the petitions filed by the Federal Government through the Justice Department, private interest groups as well as private individuals as to the claims that the law encroaches on federal power. She added that she would provide a ruling by Sept 28 and her order would remain effective until Sept 29.
There are many similar laws passed in other states, such as Arizona, Utah, Indiana and Georgia. When the laws were submitted for judicial review, federal judges have declared the laws or provisions contained therein as unconstitutional.
The Alabama law criminalizes private citizens that assist an illegal immigrant by giving them a ride, a job, a residence or some other form of assistance. This is one part of the law that local church leaders would hamper their public ministry and service. The law further provides that suspected illegal immigrants could be thrown in jail at traffic stops.
As for the petitioners, such as the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, is happy with the temporary reprieve. They are looking forward that the judge can find favor in their petition and find the said law unconstitutional. Isabel Rubio, executive director for the interest group said, “We are pleased that Judge Blackburn is taking more time to study the case.”