ACLU To File Lawsuit Challenging Draconian Alabama Anti-Immigrant Law

June 3, 2011 12:00 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

Law Passed Thursday Rolls Back Clock on Civil Rights in Alabama

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666;

MONTGOMERY – The American Civil Liberties Union today announced it will file a lawsuit challenging the draconian racial profiling law passed by the Alabama legislature late Thursday. The law is even more restrictive than the Arizona law it was inspired by. The law’s key provisions sanction discriminatory and unconstitutional practices by police officers, landlords and employers by inviting racial profiling of Latinos and others based on how they look or talk, violating the First Amendment and interfering with federal law. Under the extreme law, Alabama public schools will require children to provide proof of citizenship when enrolling in kindergarten and grade school and require police to demand “papers” from people they stop who they suspect are not authorized to be in the U.S.

The following can be attributed to Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project:

“Alabama’s racial profiling law goes beyond the discriminatory and unconstitutional police practices that we’ve seen in other states. It regulates every aspect of the lives of people in Alabama, from blocking the schoolhouse doors to children, to interfering with people’s ability to rent housing, earn a living, or exercise their constitutional right to vote. The Alabama legislature has invited rank discrimination into people’s everyday lives. It’s an outrageous throw-back to the pre-Civil Rights era and we call on Gov. Bentley to veto this deeply misguided bill. The ACLU will stand up for the civil rights and liberties of all Alabamans if he does not.”

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release