Friday, October 14, 2011

Court rules on parts of Alabama immigration law

Birmingham - A federal appeals court ruled Friday that public schools must stop checking the immigration status of students and said police can't charge immigrants who are unable to prove their citizenship.

Though the decision from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld parts of the toughest-in-the-nation immigration law, allowing both sides of the debate to claim partial victories, the decision was only temporary and a final decision isn't expected for months, after judges can review more arguments.

Immigrants celebrated the judges' ruling. Word spread quickly through the state's Hispanic community as Spanish-language radio stations aired the news.

"When I listened to that, I started crying. I called my friends and said, 'Listen to the radio.' We're all happy," said Abigail, an illegal immigrant who didn't want her last name used because she feared arrest.

Judges left parts of the law standing. They will allow police to check a person's immigration status during a traffic stop, but courts can't enforce contracts involving illegal immigrants, such as leases.

It's still a felony for an illegal immigrant to do business with the state for basic things like getting a driver's license.

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