Alabama’s controversial immigration law goes to court

The new policy cracks down on illegal immigrants in the state

The controversial Alabama immigration law, which took effect in September 2011, is headed to court. The 11th Circuit will hear arguments tomorrow about whether the policy’s tough measures to crack down on illegal immigrants can pass.

The new law, which Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (a Republican) said in December he would revise but not weaken, requires that police check the immigration status of anyone detained if that officer suspects the person may be in the U.S. illegally. The law also makes it a crime for an illegal immigrant to apply for or renew a driver’s license, identification card or license plate.

Attempting to block the law, the Obama administration sued Alabama in August, claiming the state had interfered with the federal government’s exclusive authority over immigration law.

The administration has also sued Arizona over its immigration policy. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear that case in April.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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