Temperatures are dropping around the country as we head into the back-to-school season, but things are only just heating up in the Alabama immigration case. U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn is scheduled to hear arguments from the Obama administration and other challengers to the state's new immigration law on Wednesday, just one week before it's set to take effect on Sept.1.
The new law, which I reported on earlier this month, will have far-reaching effects across the state, if enacted. Under the law, schools will be required to report the immigration status of all students to the state, police officers will have the right to arrest any persons they suspect of being in the country illegally when conducting routine traffic stops, and vehicle owners will be required to show proof of citizenship before purchasing tags for their cars.
Alabama's state superintendent of education, Joe Morton, said the law will not change enrollment procedures for most students this school year since it won't take effect until Sept. 1, well after the first day of classes for students in the state's secondary schools. This will buy some time for those teachers and parents who are concerned about the effects the new law could have on student enrollment in schools.
For some, this case might seem to hark back to the early 1960s when James Meredith, an African-America college student, was denied admittance at the University of Mississippi. Meredith filed a complaint with the courts that he was denied based on the color of his skin, and the case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled in Meredith's favor, handing down a landmark decision in the American civil rights movement that upheld the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision.
According to an AP article, it's still unknown when Judge Blackburn will hand down a ruling on the Alabama case, which some see as just as much of a civil rights issue. But we will be keeping a close eye on the decision here at Learning the Language over the coming days.