The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] on Tuesday denied a request [order, PDF] by the state of Alabama to reconsider its August ruling partially striking down [JURIST report] the state's immigration law [HB 56, PDF]. The original challenge was brought by advocacy groups, including the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA) [advocacy website], and individual plaintiffs. The court did not provide any reasons for denying the rehearing en banc. The federal government previously challenged the Alabama immigration law, and Alabama state officials petitioned [press release] the appeals court in September to reconsider its ruling [JURIST report] after a three-judge panel rejected provisions making it a crime for undocumented immigrants to work or solicit work, imposing criminal penalties on persons who rent property to illegal immigrants and requiring state officials to check the immigration status of children in public schools. The court denied the state's request [JURIST report] to rehear the government's challenge of the law in October. The court ultimately upheld [opinion, PDF] several provisions, including one allowing police officers to check the immigration status of persons suspected of a crime.
Immigration law [JURIST backgrounder] has became a hot button issue over the past few years as many states have passed laws giving state and local officials more power to crack down on illegal immigration. Earlier this month, a judge for the US District Court for the District of South Carolina [official website] upheld [JURIST report] part of South Carolina's controversial immigration law [SB 20, materials] that permits law enforcement officials to detain motorists on the side of the road for a "reasonable amount of time" while the officer checks the driver's immigration status. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] in September denied a request for a new injunction against a controversial provision of Arizona's immigration law [SB 1070, PDF] which requires law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of persons they stop or arrest if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the US illegally. In August the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] again heard arguments [JURIST report] on two anti-illegal immigrant laws enacted in 2006 by the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which deny permits to businesses that employ illegal immigrants and fine landlords who extend housing to them.