Alabama Judge Approves Controversial Immigration Measures

An Alabama judge has ruled some of the most controversial provisions of the state’s tough immigration law can go into effect, including measures that have been struck down by courts in other states.

Under Judge Sharon Blackburn’s ruling, Alabama police can enforce a “stop and ask” provision, which empowers law enforcement officers to request proof of citizenship status from anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant. Federal courts blocked a similar measure in Arizona’s SB 1070 law – a ruling Arizona’s governor, Jan Brewer, recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review.

Blackburn also approved a provision requiring Alabama’s schools to ascertain and report the immigration status of students. However, because the school year has already started, it is uncertain if this part of the law will be immediately enforced, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The judge temporarily blocked several parts of the law, such as the criminalization of hiring or transporting an illegal immigrant, pending a further ruling.

Alabama’s Republican governor expressed satisfaction with the judge’s decisions and pledged to work with the state’s attorney to ensure the law will be enacted in its entirety.

Some Alabama farmers recently met with lawmakers to express their concern that if the law goes into effect, it will drive away a significant portion of the agriculture sector’s immigrant workforce.