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The agency and ACLU call the tough crackdown on illegal aliens unconstitutional and a free-speech violation.

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Justice Department Challenges Alabama’s Immigration Law

The agency and ACLU call the tough crackdown on illegal aliens unconstitutional and a free-speech violation.

The Justice Department on Wednesday asked a federal judge to block Alabama’s tough new immigration law that allows police to detain suspected illegal aliens in traffic stops and requires status checks on students.
 
The law, which goes into effect Sept. 1, also penalizes businesses for hiring illegal aliens by revoking their licenses and penalizes anyone who provides housing or transportation to immigrants without proper documentation.
 
“We have a real problem with illegal immigration in this country,” Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said after signing the bill into law.
 
“I campaigned for the toughest immigration laws, and I’m proud of the legislature for working tirelessly to create the strongest immigration bill in the country.”
 
The Justice Department and the Alabama ACLU are challenging the law in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, charging that it is unconstitutional and impedes on illegal aliens right to free speech and travel.
 
“Not only is Alabama’s law blatantly unconstitutional, it flies in the face of American values by authorizing racial profiling, deterring children from going to school, and criminalizing those who lend a hand to individuals deemed by the state of Alabama to be illegal,” said Andre Segura, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.
 
The ACLU has already blocked similar immigration laws in Arizona, Utah, Indiana and Georgia.
 
Opponents of the law say it will “chill children’s access to public schools” by requiring proof of citizenship, and that it interferes with federal authority over immigration.
 
Reuters reported that 200 people packed the courtroom and an overflow room, many wearing high school graduation robes.
 
“This law is wrong.  It takes my dream of becoming a physician or a nurse and throws the dream away,” Jose Perez, 15, a sophomore at Pelham High School, told the wire service.
 
But signaling how she might rule in the case, Chief Justice Sharon Blackburn said education was not a civil right.

Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events‚?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey‚??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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