The Justice Department asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday to block Alabama’s strict new immigration law, saying it creates discrimination and drives aliens from the state through procedures outside those established in federal law.
In a filing with the Atlanta-based court, the department called the Alabama law “a sweeping new state regime.”
“That state regime contravenes the federal government’s exclusive authority over immigration,” the filing said. “The law also invites discrimination against many foreign-born citizens and lawfully present aliens, including legal residents, by making it a crime for any landlord to rent housing to an unlawfully present alien, invalidating all contracts with unlawfully present aliens, and even targeting school-age children with an alien registration system,” the brief goes on to say.
A message left with the Alabama Attorney General’s office was not immediately returned.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn last week allowed major portions of the state’s immigration law to go into effect, saying the Justice Department and a coalition of groups represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center had not shown they met standards for a preliminary injunction on the entire law. Blackburn turned back a request this week to stay the law while appeals move forward.