Starting today, Alabama police will enforce what many are calling the US’ toughest immigration law. A federal judge upheld key aspects of the law yesterday, including allowing authorities to question and detain suspected illegal immigrants and requiring officials to check public school students’ immigration status. The governor says those portions of the law, which was passed earlier this year, will be enforced immediately. Despite the fact that other parts of the law are still on hold, it is already stricter than similar laws in Arizona, Utah, Indiana, and Georgia.
Three lawsuits, including one from President Obama’s administration, have been filed against the law, and the judge’s ruling will likely be appealed. Other parts of the law that are going into effect include making it a crime to not carry proper alien documentation, forbidding contracts with illegal immigrants, and forbidding state and local agencies from doing business with undocumented immigrants. The AP and the Montgomery Advertiser have details on the portions of the law that are still blocked while waiting for a final ruling. The New York Times notes that the judge’s ruling means it’s very likely that the fate of all such state immigration laws will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. (Read more Alabama illegal immigration stories.)