Courts Hand Arizona a Victory on Immigration Law, But Say No to Part of Alabama's

Strict immigration enforcement won one and lost one Wednesday in the courts.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by a coalition of civil rights groups that are challenging the “show me your papers” provision of Arizona’s immigration law, known as SB 1070.

The provision calls on police, while enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned parts of the Arizona enforcement law known as SB1070 but ruled that a key provision on requiring police to ask people about their immigration status under certain circumstances can be implemented.

The Obama administration challenged that law in 2010 after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed it into law.

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The coalition's lawyers say the dismissal was needed because it would be quicker to continue challenging the questioning requirement in a lower court rather than tying up the case for months in the appeals court.

In Montgomery, a federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected a request from Alabama officials to reconsider its latest ruling in which the court invalidated some provisions of the state’s immigration law.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that the court rejected a request that the full court review the decision of a three-judge panel.

The court did not give a reason for denying the request.

In August, the court invalidated several parts of the state's immigration law.

These included provisions that made contracts with immigrants unenforceable and that made it a crime to "harbor, conceal or shield" undocumented immigrants from law enforcement.

The 11th Circuit ruled the contracts provision was designed to make the lives of undocumented immigrants so difficult they would be forced to leave the state.

The appeals court ruled that the Alabama schools provision wrongly singles out children who are in the country illegally.

Alabama was the only state that passed such a requirement and the 11th Circuit previously had blocked that part of the law from being enforced.

The court also upheld Alabama's "show me your papers" provision in Alabama's law that allows police officers to ask someone they stop for another reason -and who they suspect may be in the country illegally- for their immigration documents.

The judges said fear of the law "significantly deters undocumented children from enrolling in and attending school ...." Last fall, educators in Alabama reported countless number of students withdrawing from schools as a result of the law.

Both private groups and the Obama administration filed lawsuits to block Alabama's law, considered the toughest in the country.

In Alabama, legal immigrants also reportedly left the state, leaving many employers in industries that depended largely on an immigrant labor force struggling with a shortage of workers.

Legal Latino employees evidently opted to leave their jobs and the area because they either felt the state was hostile, or because they had family members who were undocumented, some employers said.

Those employers have turned to refugees and Puerto Ricans in other states to fill the void.

They have imported hundreds of refugee and Puerto Rican workers after having tried to hire local residents, who either did not pass background screening or quit not long after starting. Refugees are lawfully present in the United States and, as such, are authorized to work here. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.

Alabama was one of several states that passed immigration laws in the last two years on the contention that the federal government has been derelict in its responsibility to control the borders and enforce laws that punish, and by extension would cut down on, illegal immigration.

This story contains material from The Associated Press.