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August 29, 2011   Email to Friend 

JUDGE DELAYS EFFECTIVE DATE OF IMMIGRATION LAW
August 29, 2011

Marchers leave Linn Park during a silent protest of Alabama's new immigration law in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday, June 25, 2011. Several thousand people marched in protest. (The Birmingham News/Mark Almond)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Alabama's new immigration law will not take effect Sept. 1.

Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn blocked the law from going into effect until at least Sept. 29, writing that she had "limited time" available to address all challenges to the law.

The hearings on the law began Aug. 24.

Blackburn has expressed concerns about two of the law's provisions-- the requirement for school districts to check the immigration status of newly-enrolled students as well as the provision that allows law enforcement officers with "reasonable suspicion" that a person is in the country illegally to detain the person while checking their status.

However, Blackburn said the delay does not mean she has made any decisions about the constitutionality of the law.

The portions of the law pertaining to employers, like the E-Verify requirement, are not expected to change. The E-Verify provision should go into effect April 1, 2012. Violations of the law could result in significant penalties for employers.

The Alabama Farmers Federation supports secure borders and immigration reform, but maintains the newly passed state immigration law does not provide an adequate method of obtaining legal workers, as farmers across the state are already struggling to find workers to harvest crops.

The Alabama Farmers Federation is closely following the bill's progress. Visit www.alfafarmers.org for more updates.


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