Alabama Rejected by U.S. Court On Immigrant-Harboring Law

The U.S. Supreme Court, steering clear of the debate over immigration policy, refused to revive an Alabama law that made it a crime to harbor people who are in the country illegally.

The high court today rejected Alabama’s appeal, leaving intact a ruling that said the state infringed on federal authority by enacting the provision as part of an effort to drive away undocumented immigrants. The rebuff is a victory for the Obama administration, which sued to challenge the law.

In throwing out the provision, an Atlanta-based federal appeals court pointed to a Supreme Court decision last year invalidating parts of Arizona’s immigration law.

The rejection comes as Congress debates proposals to create a path to citizenship for millions of people who entered the U.S. illegally or stayed after their visas had expired.

Justice Antonin Scalia dissented from today’s court action without giving an explanation. The case is Alabama v. United States, 12-884.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at

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