An federal judge's ruling raises the possibility that, after being repeatedly rejected by courts across the U.S., a controversial policy that police check the immigration status of people who might be illegal immigrants could be enforced for the first time, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Several states have passed anti-illegal immigration bills, starting with Arizona, but each law has been put on hold by courts.
Chief U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn rejected some parts of Alabama’s far-reaching bill against illegal immigration, but she upheld the section of the law dealing with residency-status checks during routine stops. For law enforcement, which has repeatedly opposed such laws, the ruling is raising questions about how such a mandate can be enforced – and whether it will lead to lawsuits over allegations of civil-rights violations. “It would be impossible to call it a victory for either side,” says University of Alabama law Prof. Paul Horowitz. The overall ruling, which is likely to end up in the Supreme Court, shows that “the state can parallel federal law but can't innovate immigration law.”