The decision from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also said police can’t charge immigrants who are unable to prove their citizenship, but it let some of the law stand, giving supporters a partial victory. The decision was only temporary and a final ruling wasn’t expected for months, after judges can review more arguments.
Unlike crackdowns in other states, Alabama’s law was left largely in effect for about three weeks, long enough to frighten Hispanics and drive them away from the state. Construction businesses said Hispanic workers had quit showing up for jobs and schools reported that Latino students stopped coming to class.
While the long-range implications of the decision remain to be seen, immigrants celebrated the judges’ ruling. Word spread quickly through the state’s Hispanic community as Spanish-language radio stations aired the news.