Alabama and Georgia filed motions Thursday in the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] seeking to stay proceedings [press release] on challenges to their immigration laws pending a ruling by the US Supreme Court [official website] in Arizona v. United States [docket]. The Supreme Court agreed [JURIST report] Monday to rule on a challenge to Arizona's controversial immigration law [SB 1070 materials], which criminalizes illegal immigration and requires police officers to question an individual's immigration status if the officer has a "reasonable suspicion" to believe an individual is in the country illegally. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said, "[t]he Arizona case will substantially affect many of the legal questions that are critical to Alabama's appeals pending in the 11th Circuit." Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said, "[w]e strongly believe that, as the Supreme Court has said before, immigration is a partnership between the states and the federal government, and we hope that the Court will reaffirm that partnership."
Earler this week Human Rights Watch reported that Alabama's immigration law is resulting in human rights violations. Last week Alabama Governor Robert Bentley [official website] announced that he would work with lawmakers to make the law more effective [JURIST report]. In November the US Commission on Civil Rights [official website] announced that it will examine the impact [JURIST report] that state-enacted immigration enforcement laws have on individual civil rights. Challenges are also pending to immigration laws in Utah and South Carolina [JURIST reports]