Mohamed Ali Muflahi, a 24-year-old born in Yemeni, detained for not being promptly documented!
Over the summer, Alabama Governor Bentley signed into law one the most restrictive and dangerous laws since the sweeping federal and state elections of 2010. Mr. Muflahi was arrested under the provisions of that law.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports….
Governor Robert Bentley, a Republican, signed the Alabama immigration legislation on June 9.
The law, the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, includes provisions requiring public schools to collect data on the enrollment of children of unlawful residents and criminalizing the failure of illegal immigrants to complete or carry alien registration documents.
The Federal Government sued to block enforcement of the law. U.S. attorney’s have appealed the Alabama law.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn in Birmingham, Alabama, yesterday denied the federal government’s request, saying she didn’t foresee a “substantial” case for reversal of her decision last week. The measures she upheld include allowing police to make a “reasonable attempt” to determine the immigration status of a person otherwise detained or arrested. The Judge also denied a request to stop enforcement filed by civil rights group.
The governor called the ruling a victory for his state. “I remain committed to seeing that this law is fully implemented,” the governor said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “We will continue to defend this law against any and all challenges.”
NOTE: Cases filing against the Alabama Law. The federal government’s case is U.S. v. Bentley, 11- cv-02746, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham). The civil rights groups’ case is Hispanic Interest Coalition v. Bentley, 11-cv-2484, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham).
Apparently earlier in the week, a group of Alabama State Senators drafted a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The lawmakers intended ask Holder to drop the U.S. suit against the law, thus paving the way for full enforcement. The letter has been shelved after the arrest of Mohamed Ali Muflahi.
Well, all is not well with the nation’s most restrictive immigration law. Within months of its signing and in the midst of court challenges to the law, the predictable has happened. The young foreign national was arrested, taken into custody, and was set to become an active and reluctant participant in the Alabama Judicial System. All was going according to Alabama law, until Muflahi’s attorney arrived and verified his legal status.
What happens when an officer or group of officers arrest a person who appears non-American, left his wallet in his hotel room, and cannot verify that he is properly licensed and a legal resident (even if temporarily legal)? Let’s take it a step further,what happens when one of our pampered professional athletes, from the Caribbean or Central America, falls into the web of such legislation? Would you like to explore it a bit more deeply? Let’s say that Albert Pujlos decides to take a stroll alone during the hypothetical National League Playoff Series with the Arizona DiamondBacks. Albert leaves his wallet in his hotel room or loses the wallet during the stroll. While I am not certain that Jay-Walking is illegal in the Great State of Arizona, lets pretend it is illegal and the future Hall of Famer jaywalks. After the police stop the star athlete and requests identification and that documentation is not forthcoming, what then? Is he arrested? OK, so Pujols might not create a scene nor allow the situation to develop into a major case of confrontation. Do you think that would be the case with most pampered professional athletes? The question is rhetorical; “No”, it would not be the case. Thus, consider the opportunity for physical violence from people who are authorized to carry at least 6 to 8 items of identification. How about factoring in a bit or bias or bigotry into that scenario? It becomes a time-bomb.
Another provision of the Alabama’s Immigration Law!
HUFFPOST LATINO Voices
America should be ashamed!