The Obama administration on Monday sued to block enforcement of Alabama's new immigration law, widely considered to be the toughest measure in the United States to try to crack down on illegal immigrants.
The law, known as H.B. 56, was signed by Republican Governor Robert Bentley in June and is due to take effect on September 1. Civil rights groups brought a separate lawsuit challenging the law about a month ago.
"If allowed to go into effect, H.B. 56's enforcement scheme will conflict with and undermine the federal government's careful balance of immigration enforcement priorities and objectives," administration lawyers said in the lawsuit filed in federal court.
"The scheme will cause the detention and harassment of authorized visitors, immigrants, and citizens who do not have or carry identification documents specified by the statute, or who otherwise will be swept into the ambit of H.B. 56's enforcement-at-all-costs approach," the lawsuit said.
The administration, which sought an injunction to block the law from taking effect, argued that the U.S. Constitution bars the state from adopting its own immigration regime that interferes with the federal immigration system. There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
The only thing being interfered with is Obama's attempt to register new Democrat voters in time for 2012, regardless if they're citizens or not.