Alabama's immigration law on mobile homes blocked


A fan watches a football game in front of his RV in Talladega, Alabama. A part of the state's immigration law that would require proof of citizenship to register a mobile home was blocked by a federal judge.


Mario Tama

A controversial immigration law that would require Alabama residents to prove their citizenship when registering a mobile home has been blocked, Reuters reported

Mobile home owners must register their property with the state, and the penalty for not doing so is three months in jail. Alabama's new immigration law, however, would prevent illegal immigrants from being able to register. The state also requires that residents have a permit to move their mobile homes, but an owner must have their registration in order to get the permit, putting immigrants between "a rock and a hard place," said U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson of the Middle District of Alabama. 

"They can neither stay, nor can they go," Judge Thompson said in his ruling. 

The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by two unnamed Alabama residents, who received support from fair housing groups, Reuters reported.

"This decision helps put the brakes on an inhumane law that has already forced some families out of their homes," Justin Cox, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union immigrants' rights project, said in a statement.

The mobile home law is a small part of the state's sweeping immigration law, which was approved and signed June 9. House Majority Leader, Republican Micky Hammon, said that the legislation is meant to encourage undocumented immigrants to “self-deport” from the state, The Montgomery Advertiser reported

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Last month, a U.S. Appeals Court blocked Alabama from enforcing a separate section of the law, which included a provision that required public schools to determine the legal residency of children before they enrolled. The U.S. Justice Department has also sued Alabama, saying state lawmakers have no constitutional right to set immigration policy, Reuters reported. 

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