Temp. order blocks portion of Ala. immigration law

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Another portion of Alabama's tough, new immigration enforcement law has been dealt a setback as it moves through the court system.

Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ordered a temporary restraining order be placed on Section 30 of HB 56 after a lawsuit was filed challenging the state's ability to prohibit contracts where one party is an illegal immigrant.

Alabama law requires owners of manufactured homes to pay an annual registration fee in order to obtain an identification decal that must be displayed on the outside of the home. The registration is due annually on Oct. 1 and is considered delinquent after Nov. 30. A person found delinquent can face fines and/or jail time.

The lawsuit sought to block Alabama's ability to prevent immigrants from renewing those required permits on their homes. The law's opponents say that puts undocumented immigrants in a Catch-22.

Two Elmore County immigrants challenged the law, and civil rights groups have criticized the law on several points, including on grounds that it forces immigrants to leave Alabama.

"Latino Alabamians, 30 percent of whom occupy mobile homes, will have something to truly be grateful for this Thanksgiving," said Linton Joaquin, general counsel of the National Immigration Law Center. "Today's ruling is a victory that will prevent people from being pushed out of their homes."

Judge Thompson's TRO was issued against Alabama Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee and Jimmy Stubbs, Elmore County's Probate Judge, in their official capacities.

The judge determined that "the evidence reflects that the Alabama Revenue Department and the Elmore County Probate Office initially proposed to use their own, state-created alternative for determining whether an individual has adequately demonstrated his or her lawful citizenship status..."

The restraining order expires on December 7, 2011 at 4:30pm.

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