BIRMINGHAM, Ala (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday refused to halt Alabama's tough new immigration law while the Obama administration and other groups appeal her earlier ruling allowing key portions of the law to take effect.
District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn last week backed the law authorizing police to detain people suspected of being in the country illegally if they cannot produce proper documentation when stopped for any reason.
The judge also upheld a provision that permits the state to require public schools to determine the legal residency of children.
In a ruling on Wednesday, Blackburn said the United States had not established that there would be "substantial harm" to the public interest without an injunction in place.
"Alabama has an interest in enforcing laws properly enacted by its Legislature and not likely to be found unconstitutional," the judge wrote.
(Reporting by Peggy Gargis; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Greg McCune)