Alabama Faces Lawsuit Over Immigration Law from Justice Department

The US Justice Department recently filed a lawsuit against Alabama in order to block the state’s strict new immigration law, H.B. 56, before it takes effect September 1.

Filed in the Northern District of Alabama, the lawsuit states that many aspects of the legislation conflict with federal immigration laws and “undermine the federal government’s careful balance of immigration enforcement priorities and objectives,” the Department of Justice explained in an announcement.

This lawsuit is the federal government’s second in the past year. The first, United States v. Arizona, successfully led to a preliminary injunction against Arizona’s similar attempt at immigration reform, S.B. 1070. Like Arizona’s new law, Alabama will require police to use an immigration status verification system to check the residency status of people they encounter.

Cecilia Wang, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project for the American Civil Liberities Union, told The Wall Street Journal that it’s good to see the federal government taking a stand against these laws.

“It’s the US government’s duty to defend the Constitution including the principle that it is the federal government’s job to ensure that there is a unified national policy and law regulating immigration,” Wang explained to the news source.