Plaintiffs argue Supreme Court’s Arizona decision blunts Alabama immigration law

By Brian Lawson,
The Huntsville Times

Lawyers for a group of 36 plaintiffs suing to block Alabama’s immigration law told a federal appeals court this afternoon that a recent Supreme Court decision preempts much of the Alabama law.

But lawyers for the State of Alabama said the plaintiffs, led by the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), failed to understand what the Supreme Court ruled in Arizona, especially in sections dealing with requirements to carry ID and police stops.

“The HICA Plaintiffs’ overarching theory is that HB56 as a whole, and particularly Sections 10 and 12, amounts to an unconstitutional regulation of immigration,” the state argued. “That theory is incompatible with the way the Supreme Court analyzed the Arizona statute. The Supreme Court did not hold that Arizona’s version of Section 10 (carrying proof of status) was preempted because it regulated immigration; it instead held that the provision was preempted because Congress has occupied the particular field of alien registration.”

The state also argued, “the Supreme Court rejected the argument that Arizona’s version of Section 12 (police checks) was facially preempted. Under HICA’s sweeping theory, both of those provisions would have been facially invalid on the theory that they were regulations of immigration.”

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