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Federal Court Mixes Rulings on the Undocumented

August 27, 2012
Plain English Version

A United States Court of Appeals ruled on the harsh Alabama and Georgia laws affecting undocumented people.

The Court said Alabama could not:

  • Consider the immigration status of children enrolling in school
  • Say that a contract with an undocumented person is not enforceable
  • Make it against the law for the undocumented to apply for a job
  • Make a crime of the “willful failure” of undocumented people to carry legal documents at all times

The court said undocumented people could not get licenses like car tags or certain professional licenses.

The court said undocumented youngsters could not enroll in public colleges.

The court said Georgia could prosecute people who knew they were hiding or transporting an undocumented alien during a crime.

The court also continued to allow the police to hold people they think are in the country without documents. The police have 48 hours to determine whether a person driving without a license is legally in the country.

This was the most important feature of the US Supreme Court’s ruling on the Arizona ant-immigration law.

Both supporters and opponents of the laws claimed some victories.

A supporter of Alabama’s laws said, “Alabama will be allowed to identify, detain and deal with those they suspect are living in Alabama illegally.”

An opponent of the laws said, “This ruling has sent a strong message to Alabama and other states that they cannot enact hate-filled laws to try to drive an entire class of people from their borders.”

The New York Times

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