Strict Alabama Immigration Law Provisions Blocked by Settlement Agreement

Alabama LawAfter two years of court battles over its 2011 immigration law, Alabama has agreed to a settlement with plaintiffs that will permanently block several portions of the law.  The settlement will strip the Alabama law, widely considered the strictest of all recent state level immigration policies, of the majority of its strictest provisions.

The settlement came after the US Supreme Court refused to hear the state’s appeal of a lower court decision finding that the law conflicted with broad federal authority to regulate immigration.

The agreement will block some of the most extreme portions of the law, including: requirements to verify the immigration status of K-12 students; a provision making it a crime to rent to undocumented immigrants or provide them transportation; and a provision making it a crime to contract with an undocumented immigrant and making such contracts unenforceable. In addition, the state has also agreed to limits on the “stop and verify” provision of the law – “derided by critics as a ‘show your papers’ law — that allow[s] local police to check the immigration status of criminal suspects.”

However, the agreement left intact several provisions of the law limiting immigrants’ access to employment and higher education. These provisions include requirements for businesses to use the federal E-Verify database for new hires, prohibitions on undocumented immigrants from enrolling in public universities and colleges, and prohibitions on granting business licenses to immigrants without legal immigration status.

The agreement must receive approval by the federal court judge presiding over the case before it becomes binding.

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