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Judge denies motion to block Alabama immigration law

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:40 PM EDT, Wed October 5, 2011
A federal district judge in Alabama denied an emergency request aimed at blocking parts of the state's new immigration law.
A federal district judge in Alabama denied an emergency request aimed at blocking parts of the state's new immigration law.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Coalition of civil rights groups, Justice Department had made emergency motion
  • A federal district judge denies their request to block parts of immigration law
  • The plaintiffs vow to continue fighting the law in a federal appeals court

(CNN) -- A federal district judge in Alabama denied on Wednesday an emergency request aimed at blocking parts of the state's new immigration law during an appeal process.

The motion was filed by a coalition of civil rights groups and the U.S. Department of Justice. The coalition argued that plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit would be "irreparably harmed" by the law, known as HB 56.

See how one immigrant family reacted to the law

U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn ruled that the coalition had not made its case.

"The plaintiffs have not shown that they are 'likely to prevail' nor that they have a 'substantial case' on the merits," she wrote in an order denying the motion issued Wednesday.

Members of the coalition said they planned to continue fighting the law in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

"The civil rights plaintiffs and their counsel are committed to pursuing all legal avenues to ensure the eventual defeat of this misguided law," the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement after the judge's ruling.

Last month Blackburn blocked certain parts of the law from going into effect, including a provision saying undocumented immigrants in the state were not allowed to "knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public or private place, or perform work as an employee or independent" and a provision banning the "concealing, harboring (or) transporting" of illegal immigrants.

But the judge allowed some of the more controversial aspects of the law to go into effect, including a measure that requires the state to check the immigration status of students in public schools.

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