News Column

Court Rejects Rehearing Request on Parts of Ala. Immigration Law

Oct. 18, 2012

Brian Lyman

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a request from Alabama to revisit its decision in U.S. v. Alabama.

The court did not give a reason for its decision Wednesday for denying the en banc request.

The state also has requested a rehearing in Hispanic Interest Coalition et. al. v. Alabama, in which the court invalidated other provisions of the law, including one requiring schools to collect data on unlawfully present immigrants. The 11th Circuit had not released a ruling on that motion as of late Wednesday afternoon.

In August, the court invalidated several areas of the state's immigration law, including provisions that made contracts with immigrants unenforceable and making it a crime to "harbor, conceal or shield" undocumented immigrants from law enforcement.

The 11th Circuit ruled the contracts provision constituted "a calculated policy of expulsion, seeking to make the lives of unlawfully present aliens so difficult as to force them to retreat from the state."

In a request for a rehearing in early September, the state called the court's findings "important and wrong," arguing that the state's attempt to punish harboring did not conflict with federal law on the matter.

The state also argued that the contracts ruling could interfere with any state attempt to address the costs of undocumented immigrants.

Jennifer Ardis, a spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley, said the office had no comment. Joy Patterson, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Luther Strange, also said the office would have no comment. A request for comment from the Department of Justice was not returned.

Source: (c)2012 the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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