Court Will Wait to Issue State Immigration Law Opinion

By Robyn Hagan Cain on March 02, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the Georgia and Alabama immigration law appeals yesterday, but the appellate court will not issue an opinion on the laws any time soon.

The presiding judge in the case announced before arguments started that the circuit will wait to rule on the matter until the Supreme Court issues an opinion on Arizona’s immigration law, reports WBRC. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in Arizona v. U.S. on April 25, but the Court is unlikely to decide the case before June.

If yesterday's hearing is any indication, Georgia and Alabama will receive bad news about their immigration laws this summer.

Though the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals is relatively conservative compared to the Ninth Circuit, which upheld an injunction of Arizona's immigration law last year, the judges expressed concern that state immigration laws interfere with the federal government's duties.

Yesterday's hearing was not the first time the Atlanta-based appellate court has taken issue with the controversial Alabama law.

In October, the Eleventh Circuit enjoined two provisions of the Alabama immigration law that required public school residency checks and mandatory alien registration cards. The court left provisions for immigration status checks during "lawful" stops, illegal immigrant business transaction bans, and non-enforcement of undocumented immigrant contracts in place.

Last June, a district judge enjoined two sections of the Georgia immigration law. One of the enjoined provisions directed law enforcement to conduct immigration status checks for suspects who could not provide identification, while the other penalized intentionally transporting or housing someone in the country illegally, reports The New York Times.

South Carolina, Utah, and Indiana have also enacted state immigration laws similar to Arizona S.B. 1070.

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