New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Will State Attempts at Immigration Reform Come Full Circle?

Author: immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova

One of the more recent stands that the Obama Administration has taken regarding controversial state-passed immigration laws is its legal challenge against Alabama's new immigration laws. In 2011, Alabama passed some of the most stringent laws in the nation to deal with immigration violations. According to a Reuter's news report, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which is located in Atlanta, GA, issued an injunction against some of the Alabama provisions.

The injunction prohibited courts from enforcing the following against illegal immigrants:

  • Preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses
  • Checking immigration status of illegal immigrants' children who are enrolled in school
  • Criminal prosecution (misdemeanor) for the failure carry documents proving legal residency

Arizona immigration laws are in the hands of the Supreme Court

Meanwhile, the nation awaits the Supreme Court's review and decision regarding the Arizona immigration law which also contained provisions allowing the police to check immigration status of persons they stopped and detain them if they could not show evidence of legal status. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision to block much of the Arizona immigration law. Arguments before the Supreme Court are scheduled for April 25, 2012.

The federal government contends that immigration is a federal matter to be enforced by the federal government. State governments contend that they have inherent rights of police powers to enforce already existing laws within state borders.

The outcome of the Arizona case will set precedents for Alabama, Georgia, and other states that have passed immigration laws that are subject to federal challenges.

For legal help with immigration, asylum, or deportation and removal, consult a skilled New York immigration lawyer.

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