The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the state of Alabama's request for a new look at the state's immigration law.
The Justices will not revive the section of the law that made it a crime to harbor people living here illegally.
Justice Antonin Scalia was the only Justice who voted to hear the appeal.
This appeal challenged the ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that stated immigration is a federal issue.
The bill's sponsor, Representative Kerry Rich of Albertville, said the federal government's handling of immigration is the reason he pushed for the law in the first place.
"And I agree that the federal government should handle it, but the problem is the federal government is not handling it," Rich said.
Local humanitarian groups call this ruling a win, saying they're relieved they will not face charges for harboring illegal immigrants.
Many church groups were specifically against this provision regarding the harboring of illegals.
Father Tim Pfander said the law prevented being able to provide for humanitarian aid.
Pfander said he is pleased with the court's decision to not take up the issue involving prosecution for harboring illegals.
He said the church has a food pantry. Had the law been upheld, Pfander said the church or its members would not be allowed to give a can of food to a hungry person if that person were illegal.
When it comes to helping people, Pfander said the church does not discriminate based on skin color, sexual preference, ethnicity, or legal status.
"To the church, it looks at the dignity of every human person, and realize that there are just some certain basic human rights. As a result, the church thought that it was important to be involved in overturning, especially that provision," said Pfander.
Rich believes the state could ask the court for a reconsideration, but he is unsure if the attorney general plans to seek one.
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