ATLANTA (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday blocked key parts of Georgia's new illegal immigration crackdown from taking effect July 1.
Judge Thomas Thrash issued a preliminary injunction halting Georgia from authorizing police officers to question criminal suspects about their immigration status.
He also blocked portions of the legislation that would make it a crime to knowingly harbor or transport an illegal immigrant.
"The apparent legislative intent is to create such a climate of hostility, fear, mistrust and insecurity that all illegal aliens will leave Georgia," Thrash wrote in his ruling.
Georgia is latest state to pass tough immigration legislation only to have it blocked in the courts. Courts have also halted key parts of laws passed by Arizona and Indiana.
(Reporting by David Beasley; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Greg McCune)