Reuters: A federal judge temporarily blocked a part of Alabama's tough new immigration law on Monday that requires residents to show proof of citizenship when registering mobile homes with the state.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson of the Middle District of Alabama wrote in a 108-page opinion that the law leaves illegal immigrants "between a rock and a hard place."
Alabama requires owners of mobile homes to register those properties with the state or face three months in jail, but the new immigration law passed by the state legislature in June also bars illegal immigrants from submitting those registrations, Thompson wrote.
"They can neither stay, nor can they go," the judge said in his ruling.
That is because the state requires a permit to move a mobile home, and an owner must have registration of the vehicle to move it, the judge found.
The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed by two unnamed Alabama residents, with assistance from fair housing groups.
Representatives for the Alabama governor and the state attorney general could not be reached for comment.
The judge found the plaintiffs would likely be successful in their case as it moves forward.
"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.
Thompson in his opinion found the provision of the Alabama immigration law relating to mobile homes infringes on the federal government's preeminent jurisdiction over immigration matters. He also found the bill may violate the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against Latinos.
"By focusing on housing, and thereby on the movement of Latinos into and out of the state" the law "falls outside the authority vested in state legislatures," Thompson wrote.
In a separate legal challenge, a U.S. Appeals Court last month blocked Alabama from enforcing part of the new law, including a controversial provision that permits the state to require public schools to determine the legal residency of children upon enrollment.
The U.S. Justice Department has also sued Alabama, saying state lawmakers have no constitutional right to set immigration policy.