Judge delays immigration law 30 days

Published 3:50 pm Monday, August 29, 2011

U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn will block Alabama’s new immigration law for one month while she evaluates the constitutionality of the controversial law.

It was set to go into effect Thursday.

“While I would rather have seen the new law approved and become effective on its legal due date of Sept. 1, I am hopeful that Judge Blackburn’s decision to take 30 days to examine the constitutional issues will end up serving the people of Alabama well,” said Bill Armistead, Chairman of Alabama’s Republican Party. “The bill was carefully crafted by legal experts on this issue and we are hopeful it will withstand this legal test. I am heartened by both Governor Bentley’s and Attorney General Strange’s tireless support and defense of the law.”

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“Judge Blackburn clearly understands the complexity of this issue and we are encouraged by her willingness to carefully examine all aspects of the case prior to ruling,” Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said. “We also appreciate Attorney General Luther Strange’s commitment to upholding state law and applaud his leadership in this case.”

House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) also applauded the judge’s deliberate approach to reviewing this law.

“I’m pleased Alabama is one step closer to having a law that addresses this growing problem,” he said. “This is not an easy issue to adjudicate and I appreciate Judge Blackburn’s willingness to take the appropriate time to review the law. I am also grateful for the dedication of Attorney General Luther Strange and his team for their tireless efforts in this case to defend state law.”

The Alabama Legislature passed what many have called the strongest immigration law in the country. Gov. Robert Bentley signed the bill into law in June and has defended the law as stern but fair and needed.

“I look forward to the Judge ruling on the merits,” Bentley said. “We have long needed a tough law against illegal immigration in this state, and we now have one. I will continue to fight at every turn to defend this law against any and all challenges.”

The injunction on the law will expire Oct. 1 and would be lifted if Blackburn issues her ruling in the case before the deadline.