This article was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Southern Xenophobia

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who is charged with defending the state’s toughest-in-the-nation immigration law in court, is finally speaking out about the need to seriously revise the measure:

The top legal official in the U.S. state with the country’s toughest immigration law has suggested throwing out parts of the law after challenges by the federal government and strong protests by rights and business groups.

In his first public concerns about the law, expressed in a letter to legislative leaders obtained by The Associated Press, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said the proposed changes would make the law “easier to defend in court” and “remove burdens on law-abiding citizens.”

The letter sent last week comes as the attorney general defends the law against a federal court challenge filed by about 30 organizations and individuals.

Strange specifically recommended repealing sections of the law that require public schools to collection information on the immigration status of students, and make it a crime for an undocumented immigrant to fail to carry registration.

Both sections of the law are currently on hold after the 11th Circuit temporarily suspended them pending further review. But the law has already had truly tragic effects on young school children in Alabama. Immediately after the law was passed, thousands of Hispanic students either stayed home or withdrew from school altogether, fearful that the new law was going to lead to the deportation of their families.

Hispanic students have been bullied by their peers, and one teacher even singled out a student in front of her peers simply because she looked foreign — even though she was an American citizen.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published December 7, 2011, at Photo from Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange's government website.
Marie Diamond

Marie Diamond

Marie Diamond is a reporter/blogger for She hails from the great metropolis of Temple, TX. She holds a B.A. in political science from Yale and was a Yale Journalism Scholar. Before joining ThinkProgress, she worked at West Wing Writers, a speechwriting and communications firm. She has also interned for The American Prospect and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and has done development work in South Africa and Kazakhstan.