The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in its ruling last month, stayed the parts of Alabama’s immigration law that require proof of lawful residency in the U.S. and track immigration information about newly-enrolled students. The Court did not block provisions dealing with immigration status checks during traffic stops, contracts with illegal immigrants, or government business transactions. The ruling doesn’t bind the panel of the Court that will hear the main arguments concerning the merits of the appeal.
The Court said the Plaintiffs had met the four tests for an injunction on the sections it blocked, including: substantial likelihood they will prevail on the merits of the appeal; a substantial risk of irreparable injury to the parties unless the injunction is granted; no substantial harm to other interested persons; no harm to the public interest. Hispanic parents began withdrawing their children from the schools after Judge Sharon Blackmon refused to block the school registration requirement.
The law required new students to show proof of citizenship or lawful immigration status at the time they enrolled. But schools weren’t allowed to deny students entry, if that information was not provided. The other section that was blocked required people to carry proof they are in the U.S. legally. The order issued by the Atlanta-based Appeals Court followed requests by the U.S. Justice Department and the group of 36 Plaintiffs to stay the law pending an appeal of the earlier ruling by the District Court that left parts of it in place. Regardless of what the Eleventh Circuit does in its final order, the case will wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court. Frankly, I will be greatly shocked if the law survives the constitutional challenges. But it seems certain that the U.S. Supreme Court will make the final call on this law.
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