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Feds Sue Alabama Over Tough Immigration Law

August 02, 2011  | 

The Department of Justice filed a legal challenge against Alabama's tough immigration law, as the Obama Administration's latest salvo against states who attempt immigration reform.

The DOJ filed its suit Monday in Birmingham, Ala., to halt the adoption of the bill scheduled for Sept. 1. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed the law in early June.

Attorney General Eric Holder, in a statement issued Monday, said states can't pass or enforce immigration laws. The DOJ also sued to overturn Arizona's immigration law.

"Today's action makes clear that setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility that cannot be addressed through a patchwork of state immigration laws," said Holder. "The department is committed to evaluating each state immigration law and making decisions based on the facts and the law. To the extent we find state laws that interfere with the federal government's enforcement of immigration law, we are prepared to bring suit, as we did in Arizona."

The Alabama law would empower police to arrest people suspected of being an illegal immigrant if they're stopped for another reason. It would require businesses and schools to verify whether workers and students are in the country lawfully. It also makes it a crime to knowingly transport or shelter illegal immigrants.

The law has also been challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center and other groups in a joint lawsuit that makes a similar argument to the DOJ complaint.

By Paul Clinton

Related: Alabama's Tough Immigration Law Faces Legal Challenges

Comments (12)

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12

TimFromLA @ 8/2/2011 5:58 PM

Funny thing, Alabama couldn't care less about immigration. Prior to Obama coming in, where there no illegals before? But politics asides, it appears that the brass in EVERY state with stringent immigration laws fail to answer this question, and that's why are the "illegals" coming in in the first place? Illegal employers. AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio was asked this question by liberal talk show host Thom Hartmann:

Transcript: Thom Hartmann asks Sheriff Joe Arpaio, why isn't he arresting the illegal employers? 28 Jul '10.

Arpaio's answer?

Joe Arpaio: Yeah. Well we have too as a civil offense, a very weak law, but we keep looking at hooking them too, see if they knowingly and hire these people.

Uh Sheriff, there is eVerify. Something that the Bush administration created, albeit optional. If the H.R., manager or CEO used eVerify, then they would know who the illegals are. But since they don't and the brass, like Arpaio frowns on arresting as Hartmann calls white CEO, the life of the arresting LEO are at risk.

Frank @ 8/2/2011 6:01 PM

Yes and in the mean time our states are taking hit after hit from higher crime rates to cost of taking care of illegals. No wonder this country is taking the honest law abiding citizens to the poor house. Maybe the Feds should take care of the people who made this country what is was!

Josh Stateson @ 8/2/2011 6:41 PM

If not for the burden of illegals, America could afford cradle to grave health care for every resident.

kbradfor @ 8/2/2011 6:41 PM

Problem here is the same as the gang and drug problem, lack of Federal and state support for law enforcement, liberal law makers with financial interests in the private business sector making money off of these situations and Judges who either don't do their job or can't because of funding issues and jail space. If President Obama worried/cared as much about the issues in the USA as he does in the Middle East we wouldn't have the problems in our society we have with illegal immigration, drugs or gangs.

Ulverwolf @ 8/2/2011 7:19 PM

Why is there a picture, of that detective from "Barney Miller" accompanying the article>?

Tom @ 8/2/2011 7:37 PM

Holder is an embarrassment as attorney general.

Michael @ 8/2/2011 8:15 PM

The states can"t pass laws on immigration. When the feds insist on doing nothing about this issue it leaves the states nothing else to do. You wouldn't need to expand the debt ceiling if we got rid of all the illegal aliens in this country.

American @ 8/3/2011 1:51 AM

Alabama can not pass or enforce immigration laws? Might as well say the states can't or enforce any laws. Like Hitler Jr. you probaby think there are 57 states get your lawsuits ready hero.
Eric, where did you get your law degree?....Harvard?.....might as well been from a cracker jack box. I guess it is the prior administrations fault too, that you are an idiot.

Maroon Beret @ 8/3/2011 4:53 AM

The primary reason why DOJ is suing is because DOJ is embarrassed that the States are taking the initiative to fix what the Feds and congress can't or won't. The only way people in DC are affected by illegal immigration is when the guy who cuts their lawn doesn't show up and they have to do the work themselves. DOJ should instead start asking what do we need to do to solve the problem that the States are telling us they have. Instead once again it's the Nanny federal government telling us what's best for us.
As an aside though, this administration has deported more illegals than the previous administration but that's because communications in DC is so broken down no one in government or DOJ knows about it. Once they find out that people outside of DC do what they are expected to do, they'll put an end to that as well. Then again the illegals can simply move to the People's Socialist Republic of Maryland and get full benefits.

USA1 @ 8/3/2011 4:58 AM

holder doesnt want states to do anything about illegal aliens. He has to do what he can to keep the illegals here. If holder can slow the process of illegal alien laws being enforced, he stands a chance for junior getting those illegal votes.
That will help junior get back in the white house.

Tom Ret LPD @ 8/3/2011 7:07 AM

Holder and Obama are on the same page. They enforce those laws that benefit them and ignore those that don't. In this case, they don't want others to enforce the laws that they have ignored. The question then arises as to motivation.

Mike @ 8/3/2011 10:45 AM

The 'Obamination Administration' has to sue the states for doing the jobs they won't do! That's the only way they think they can save face. When ICE raids a business and arrests a dozens of illegal aliens, using stolen identities, for DHS Secretary 'Clownitano' to make statements that she is upset it happened and is going to look into how it was allowed to happen, that's just ludicrous! ICE was doing its job!!! That's how it happened! At least some gov't, (states) wants to help the country by decreasing the financial burden placed on the rest of us by illegal aliens. Eric should just go back to selling the drug cartels more high-powered weapons and keep his nose out of the good laws AZ, AL, GA and many more of the other states are passing! Not are we only up the creek and lost our paddle, our boat is falling apart too!

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