A Federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., upheld most portions of the State’s highly controversial immigration law on Wednesday. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit seeking to block the law.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn upheld some provisions in the tough immigration legislation which were under DOJ scrutiny. The provisions allow police to stop and detain suspected illegal aliens, permit schools to check the immigration status of students and allow the nullification of contracts that have been knowingly entered into with illegal aliens. She also upheld a section making it a felony for “an alien not lawfully present in the United States” to apply for a license plate, driver license, business license or other business license.
The law was set to go into effect on Sept. 1, but the judge issued a temporary injunction to consider it provisions before ruling on its legality.
The Department of Justice had argued that the State law takes away from the Federal government’s right and ability to enforce immigration legislation. But legislators in the State argued against the DOJ, saying that the Federal government has done little to enforce immigration law, leaving it up to the States. The Republican-led Legislature also contends that passing the law was the follow-through to many campaign promises during successful GOP campaigns of the 2010 election cycle.