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Judge upholds key parts of Ala. immigration law

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The court fight will likely continue over Alabama's immigration law, now that a judge has refused to block key parts of it.

The federal judge says some parts of the law are in conflict with federal statutes, but others aren't. She's letting stand the part of the law that requires immigration status checks of public school students. She's also refusing to stop provisions that allow police to hold suspected illegal immigrants without bond, and that make it a felony for an illegal immigrant to do business with the state.

The judge's order temporarily blocks four parts of the law until she can issue a final ruling. They include a provision making it a crime to transport or harbor an illegal immigrant, and one that makes it a crime for an illegal immigrant to solicit work.

An appeal is all but certain. The state attorney general's office says it's reviewing the decision before commenting.

Opponents of the law include the Obama administration, immigrant-support groups and civil libertarians. The Justice Department said it encroaches on the federal government's duty to enforce immigration law.

Similar, less restrictive laws have been passed in four other states, and federal judges have already blocked all or parts of those.