Alabama’s controversial immigration law was put on hold as a federal judge issued a temporary injunction staying implementation of the law until Judge Sharon L. Blackburn has had time to determine whether or not the law is constitutional.
At a hearing on the injunction Judge Blackburn said that there were “a lot of problems” with the statute that could lead to a number of unlawful arrest suits. The law would make it a crime for an undocumented person to be in the state and would criminalize hiring or renting property in the state.
Despite her reservations surrounding the law Blackburn made it clear that she was not ruling on the merits at this time.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bently (R) was not dismayed by the injunction and issued a statement that said “I look forward to the Judge ruling on the merits. We have long needed a tough law against illegal immigration in this state and now we have one. I will continue to fight at every turn to defend this law against any and all challenges.”
The Department of Justice had sued the state arguing that the law interfered with federal immigration law and is therefore unconstitutional. Business leaders have also come out in opposition to the measure stating concerns over the impact it would have on their workforce.
The law had been set to go into effect on September 1, 2011. Judge Blackburn said that she will rule on the merits of the law by September 29th.
Photo from barnaby via flickr.