The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and The Southern Poverty Law Center, joined by a coalition of other civil and human rights groups, recently filed a lawsuit against an Alabama anti-immigration law, scheduled to take effect in September. The law requires that state law enforcement officials “stop, question, and detain” any person who they have a “reasonable suspicion” is undocumented.
The law also requires parents and students in primary and secondary schools prove their immigration status to the schools with affidavits. Public schools in Alabama must then publish figures on the numbers of immigrants who are enrolled in schools, as well as any additional costs to the school due to the education of undocumented immigrant children. Moreover, the law bars undocumented immigrants from enrolling in any public college after high school and makes it a crime to rent housing to undocumented immigrants.
Cecilia Wang, the director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, stated, “Alabama has brazenly enacted this law despite the fact that federal courts have stopped each and every one of these discriminatory laws from going into effect. Local Alabama communities and people across the country are shocked and dismayed by the state’s effort to erode our civil rights and fundamental American values. Just as we’ve stopped similar draconian laws in Arizona, Utah, Indiana, and Georgia from going into effect, we will do so here in Alabama as well.”