Judge Places Hold on Alabama’s Strict Anti-Immigration Law—Hopefully, the First of Many Like Acts

Target: Judge Myron Thompson of the U.S. District Court of Alabama

Goal: Support measures to eradicate the oppressive anti-immigration laws in Alabama by working to give rights back to the workers of the state.

In an effort to stop what may have been an all-out “exodus” from the state of Alabama by Hispanic residents, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson put a halt to a part of the HB 56 legislation (the controversial bill that prohibits illegal immigrants from participating in any type of business transaction with the state) that would reject home registration permits for mobile homes to residents living in the state.

Because of the large population of Latino’s that live in mobile homes within the state (around 30%), Alabama merchants—and especially those working in the agricultural industry—feared that the law would further diminish their worker base.  Judge Thompson’s block, according to Linton Joaquin of the National Immigration Law Center General Counsel, is seen as “a victory that will prevent people from being pushed out of their homes.” However big a break this may seem, it does however have its own limits.

According to USA Today, November 30 was the set deadline to obtain a one year permit for manufactured homes: a feat impossible since illegal immigrants were banned from performing business with the state. Because of this, many Hispanics were threatening to leave the state as soon as this Thanksgiving weekend. For now, Thompson’s hold has effectively stopped this from happening, but his temporary legislation will expire on December 7.

There is no doubt that Alabama’s immigration laws are the strictest in the country, cutting so deep that the federal government’s involvement is being looked on to question it.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder points out: “A patchwork of immigration laws is not the answer and will only create further problems in our immigration system…The federal government is the chief enforcer of immigration laws…it is clearly unconstitutional for a state to set its own immigration policy.”

For the time being, many are looking to rid the state of this oppressive legislation and hope that Thompson’s recent move is one in a line of many to challenge it.

Dear Judge Thompson,

In light of the unfair legislation set at singling out Hispanic and undocumented workers in the state of Alabama, any steps that are taken to ensure the quality of life for those living and working within the state are a light in a seemingly endless and dark tunnel. Judge, your recent hold to the portion of the HB 56 legislation that would grant illegal immigrants more time in obtaining registration permits for the homes is beginning to show cracks within this harsh restriction.

All people, regardless of citizenship status, living and working in any state (providing the state with workers and an income) should be afforded the same rights as everybody else.  Chipping away at these rights is stripping citizens of any advantages they may have earned. By opposing the HB 56 bill, we as a country can begin to give back to those that the few have taken away from them.

It is because of this that I write.  I support the recent block you made to the anti-immigration law and urge you to move forward in the same respect–making this temporary move into more permanent actions. All citizens of the country should be afforded the same rights, and no state government should be allowed to take away what the federal government has granted to the people.


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