The U.S. Court of Appeals stopped Alabama from enforcing it’s new anti-immigrant law which forbade state and local governments from engaging in "business transactions" with illegal immigrants and another that directs state courts not to enforce contracts involving those illegally in the U.S.
The ruling surprised those seeking to overturn the controversial law, which went into effect last September. The federal panel in¬dicated last week that they would not issue an opinion on HB 56 until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of Arizona's immigration law, passed in 2010.
Farmers and other businesses in the state protested the law, saying it had caused an extensive exodus of Hispanic workers from the state, creating a scarcity of employees. In an article in mycuentame.org, Alabama Tomato farmer Wayne Smith said thai in 25 years as a farmer he has never been able to keep a staff of American workers. “People in Alabama are not going to do this,” said Smith, who grows about 75 acres of tomatoes in the northeast part of the state. “They’d work one day and then just wouldn’t show up again.”
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said he and the Republican leadership of the Legislature would review the law, but not repeal it.
"I will continue to vigorously defend Alabama's immigration law in the courts," Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said on Thursday. "I am hopeful that the Supreme Court's coming decision in the Arizona case will make clear that our law is constitutional."
"We're obviously thrilled," commented Mary Bauer, plaintiff’s attorney and legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center. "I think it means many of the harms that are happening in the real world will come to an end while we wait for a decision from the court."
Bauer also commented that Section 30 of the law has interpreted as allowing governmental bodies to deny water and other services to undocumented aliens
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Alabama, the National Immigration Law Center, the Asian Law Caucus and the Asian American Justice Center joined the SPLC in opposing to the law.
State Sen. Scott Beason, R- Gardendale, a co-sponsor of the law commented that " we're going to be fine ... The Arizona law will be successful, the Alabama law will come after that and be successful, and it will give a road map to other states in the nation to see what they can do."
The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on the Arizona law on April 25.