Federal judge blocks Alabama anti-immigrant law provision as legal challenges advance
- Year: 2011
- Length: 6:46 minutes (6.19 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
This week, challenges to harsh immigration laws moved forward in Arizona and Alabama. The US Supreme court said it will hear a case involving Arizona’s SB 1070 law and whether it is preempted by federal jurisdiction on immigration. In Alabama, a federal judge temporarily blocked a provision of the state’s HB 56 law that threatened to push families out of their homes if they couldn’t prove their legal status. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled Monday on the Alabama law in a suit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and a coalition of civil rights groups. For more we’re joined by Kristi Graunke, senior Staff Attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In a report out today, Human Rights Watch found that Alabama’s law has “given police and private individuals a license to harass and abuse unauthorized immigrants as well as minority US citizens and permanent residents.” It also documents how children are particularly hard hit. Alma Martinez, a mother and resident of Alabama for eighteen years, told a congressional hearing in November that the law has created a climate of fear in her community - and put an intense burden on children.
“I have an eight year old son who was born here and I dread the day that anyone will question whether he belongs in this country. Since the introduction of HB 56 my son has anxiety that he’s going to lose me and has nightmares that I have been killed or disappeared. The weekend after the law passed, my friend called me worried about her 16 year old son and told me that he didn’t want to come out of his bedroom, saying that he would rather die than go back to Mexico because he fears for his life due to the drug cartels violence. He was brought to this country when he was just two years old and the United States is the only country he knows.”
The Human Rights Watch report, titled No Way to Live, calls for a repeal of the law and for US Congress to take up comprehensive immigration reform. To view the HRW report, No Way to Live: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/12/08/no-way-live