Sen. Ward: Judge’s ruling ‘victory’ for those against illegal immigration

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

A federal judge’s ruling today on Alabama’s new immigration law is “a victory for those looking to crack down on illegal immigration in Alabama,” state Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said.

In a 115-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn upheld most of the provisions of the state’s law, regarded as the toughest in the nation against illegal immigration.

Blackburn temporarily blocked four parts of the law: sections 11(a), 13, 16 and 17.

Section 11(a) makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit work. Section 13 makes it a crime for a person to harbor or transport illegal immigrants. Section 16 allows lawsuits for discrimination against companies that hire illegal immigrants while dismissing legal workers. Section 17 keeps businesses from getting tax deductions for money paid to illegal workers.

Blackburn upheld all other sections, including those that allow public schools to check for immigration status and law enforcement to stop and detain any person they suspect is here illegally.

“She didn’t strike down any provisions,” Ward said. “She just continued to keep the injunction in place for a number of provisions.”

Alabama’s immigration law was to go into effect Sept. 1, but Blackburn had issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the law as she considered the case. The injunction expired today.

With the exception of sections 11(a), 13, 16 and 17, Ward said the new immigration law is immediately enforceable.