Press Releases

New York City Bar Association Files Amicus Brief in Support of Reversing Alabama Immigration Law


Eric Friedman
(212) 382-6754

Kathryn Inman
(212) 382-6656

New York City Bar Association Files Amicus Brief in Support of Reversing Alabama Immigration Law

New York, NY, November 22, 2011 – The New York City Bar Association has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in support of reversing the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, Ala. Laws Act 2011-535, commonly known as H.B. 56.

“For the purposes of the arguments advanced by this brief, H.B. 56 is identical to the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (‘S.B. 1070′) recently enacted in Arizona, and preliminarily enjoined by the federal courts there,” states the brief prepared by the City Bar’s Committee on Immigration & Nationality Law.

Like Arizona’s S.B. 1070, Alabama’s H.B. 56 places an affirmative duty upon a state officer in certain situations to verify a suspected offender’s immigration status with the federal government. According to the amicus brief, this amounts to an “end run around the prohibition against individual states engaging in civil immigration enforcement without the direction of and in conflict with the prerogatives of the federal government.” Provisions in H.B. 56 would, in effect, “force state officers, acting in their official duty, to foist an uninvited wave of unlawfully present aliens onto the federal government, and thereby attempt to force a change in federal enforcement priorities in response to the resultant influx,” states the brief. H.B. 56 also interferes with the constitutional authority of the federal government to conduct the nation’s foreign policy, according to the brief.

The brief may be read here:

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About the Association
The New York City Bar Association (, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the profession, promoting reform of the law and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.