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Court blocks part of Ala. immigration law

Oct. 14, 2011 at 3:11 PM

ATLANTA, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court barred Alabama from enforcing parts of its new immigration law Friday, including checks on the status of public school students.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also blocked a section of the law that makes failing to complete alien registration a misdemeanor, CNN reported. The U.S. Justice Department has sued to overturn parts of the law, arguing that immigration law enforcement is not a state matter.

The judges said the state can enforce some provisions challenged by the Justice Department. That includes a section, similar to laws in many other states, requiring police to ascertain the immigration status of people involved in lawful stops or arrests.

Alabama can also charge illegal immigrants with felonies if they apply for driver's licenses or business licenses or engage in other business transactions with the state. State courts are also barred from enforcing contracts involving illegal immigrants.

The legislature passed the law this summer. The court said the appeal will be handled in an expedited manner and could be heard as early as December.

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