The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily blocked portions of Alabama’s new immigration law that are being challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice and a group of 36 plaintiffs.
The court stayed portions of the new law that require proof of lawful U.S. residency and measures that would have tracked newly enrolled students in public schools.
Provisions of the new law not blocked by the court include measures that deal with immigration status checks during traffic stops and contracts or government business transactions with illegal immigrants.
The court said the ruling issued Oct. 14 does not bind the 11th Circuit panel that will hear the main arguments concerning the merits of the appeal.
In September, U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn issued a ruling on the new law that temporarily blocked four other parts of the law.
The sections blocked by Blackburn:
• Make it a crime for illegal immigrants to apply for a job.
• Make it a crime to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant.
• Make it illegal to claim tax deductions on wages paid to illegal immigrants.
• Allow discrimination lawsuits against companies that dismiss legal workers while hiring illegal workers.
A final decision on the law won't be made for months to allow time for more arguments.
The provision of Alabama’s immigration law that mandates the use of the E-Verify program by all employers, including farmers, was not challenged in the lawsuit and will go into effect April 1.
“Our main focus has been and will continue to be to educate our farmers about how to comply with this law," said Mac Higginbotham, the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Horticulture Division director.