BIRMINGHAM, Ala (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday blocked parts of Alabama's crackdown on illegal immigration but refused to bar the state from enforcing some key provisions.
The Alabama law as written, widely seen as the toughest state measure on illegal immigration, would require police to detain people they suspect of being in the United States illegally if they cannot produce proper documentation when stopped for any reason.
The law would also make it a crime to knowingly transport or harbor an illegal immigrant, and would require public schools to determine, by reviewing birth certificates or sworn affidavits, the legal residency status of students upon enrollment.
The Obama administration and other groups sought to block the law, saying it violated the U.S. Constitution and would criminalize Alabama residents who interact with those in the country without documents.
Supporters of the law argue the federal government's failure to crack down on illegal immigration forced the state to take action to protect its borders and jobs.
Federal judges have previously blocked key parts of other immigration laws passed in Georgia, Arizona, Utah and Indiana.
(Reporting by Peggy Gargis; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Cynthia Johnston)