Appeals court denies Alabama's request for new hearing on immigration law

Story highlights

  • Alabama argued that the appeals court's August decision was "erroneous"
  • An appeals court denies state officials' request for a new hearing in the case
  • A three-judge panel struck down portions of the Alabama law in August
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the law "illegal and immoral"

An appeals court Wednesday denied Alabama's request for a new hearing on the state's controversial immigration law.

The same court struck down parts of the law, known as HB 56, in August. Alabama officials had requested a new hearing, arguing that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals' August decision was "erroneous."

"The panel's conclusions on these issues are important and wrong, They were not compelled by (the U.S. Supreme Court's July decision on Arizona's immigration law), and they were contrary to other precedents," Alabama said in a court filing.

The blocked parts of the Alabama law include language that made it a crime for undocumented immigrants to work or solicit work; imposed criminal penalties to hide "an alien" or rent property to anyone in the United States illegally; and required state officials to check the immigration status of children in public schools.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

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In August, the appeals court judges let stand one of the most controversial portions of the law, allowing local and state police check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

In September, the legal director for the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center called the law "illegal and immoral" and said the center was confident the judges' ruling would stand.

    "We are disappointed that the state is continuing to stand behind this unjust and hateful law, which has brought so much shame and ridicule upon the state," Mary Bauer said in a written statement.