LULAC Hails Decision to Enjoin Enforcement of HB 56

August 31, 2011

Contact: Paloma Zuleta, pzuleta@lulac.org, (202) 365-4553

Draconian Alabama anti-immigrant law was scheduled to take effect Thursday, September 1st

Washington, DC –The League of United Latin American Citizens today expressed support for U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn’s decision to block enforcement of a harsh anti-immigrant bill that would have required public schools to check students’ immigration status, criminalized giving an undocumented immigrant a ride, required employers to use E-Verify to check potential employees’ status, and allowed for police to check the immigration status for people they suspected might be undocumented immigrants.

“LULAC has long opposed state intrusion into the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction over immigration,” stated LULAC National President Margaret Moran. “It is clear that HB 56 is an unconstitutional encroachment on federal law in an effort by Alabama to harass and intimidate its Latino population. Until Congress acts with legislation that addresses comprehensive immigration reform, states are required to abide by our current federal immigration laws.”

Under Judge Blackburn’s preliminary ruling, the law’s constitutionality was sufficiently questioned to warrant an enjoinment of the law. A detailed opinion is expected on September 28th. Under the provisions of HB 56, public schools would have been required to document the immigration status of young school children, their parents; and communicate their immigration status to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Another provision of the legislation would have been to criminalize police officers who failed to adequately prosecute undocumented immigrants.

“HB 56 is reminiscent of Jim Crow-era statutes which specifically targeted the African American population of Alabama for unequal treatment and harassment,” stated Brent Wilkes, National Executive Director of LULAC. “If this bill were to be enforced, anyone who looked like an immigrant would be treated as a suspect class and denied educational and economic opportunities solely because of the color of their skin and their accent. We call for the permanent injunction of HB 56.”

About LULAC: The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating nearly 900 LULAC councils nationwide.

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