So far, every state law aimed to crack down on illegal immigration has been stymied in court — and a judge’s ruling today ensured a law passed in Alabama earlier this year is no exception to that. The Washington Times reports:
A federal district judge halted Alabama’s new immigration law Monday just days before it was to take effect, making it the latest state to see a crackdown law blocked by a court.
Chief District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn said she didn’t have enough time to consider the law in full before the Sept. 1 date it goes into effect, so she halted its enforcement until she has time to make a broader ruling later next month.
“In entering this order the court specifically notes that it is in no way addressing the merits of the motions,” Judge Blackburn wrote in her brief order, promising a ruling by Sept. 28.
Given the federal government’s seeming unwillingness to take up the issue of immigration reform or even to take first preliminary steps to further secure the border, the state-led attempt to ascertain immigrant status and to appropriately penalize immigrants in the country illegally is certainly understandable. Given that four of the five state laws blocked by federal judges does no more than grant local police the authority to enforce federal law, the court decisions are especially perplexing. But Judge Blackburn might have more of a leg to stand on. The Alabama law went further than any other law — it required schools to determine the legal status of students, for example — so perhaps Blackburn was sincere when she said she simply didn’t have time to consider the law completely. So, stay tuned to her decision Sept. 28.