US Court Blocks Parts of Alabama Immigration Law

Posted October 14th, 2011 at 3:50 pm (UTC-5)
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A U.S. appeals court has blocked a key section of a tough immigration law in the U.S. state of Alabama.

The federal court issued a temporary ruling Friday blocking a provision of the law that requires schools to check the immigration status of students.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta also blocked a part of the law that allows authorities to charge immigrants who do not carry documents proving their legal status.

However, the judges let stand a provision that allows police to detain immigrants that are suspected of being in the country illegally when they are stopped for any other reason.

The decision is a temporary stay. The court's final decision will not be made for months while the judges consider more arguments.

Alabama's immigration law, which was signed by the state's governor in June, is one of the toughest in the country.

State officials say the law is needed to protect the jobs of legal residents and to ensure that state money is not spent on those who are there illegally.

Opponents of the measure say it could lead to discrimination. The Obama administration along with a coalition of civil rights groups filed the lawsuit against the measure.

Since the law was signed, some illegal immigrants in Alabama have pulled their children out of school and some have even fled the state.

The Alabama law is one of similar measures recently enacted in several states, including Arizona and Georgia.