Historically controversial in the treatment of its citizens, the state of Alabama’s bid to own the nation’s strictest immigration laws grew stronger. U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn upheld significant sections of the law pertaining to illegal immigrants, stating that they aren’t pre-empted by federal regulations.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), civil rights groups and church leaders previously filed lawsuits challenging the Alabama law, which make it illegal to be in the state without valid immigration documentation. State and local police also are allowed, in specific instances, to detain or arrest anyone they think could be an illegal immigrant. The DOJ’s suit claimed the law was unconstitutional on the basis that it allegedly usurps federal authority over immigration.