federal appeals court ruled on Monday that Alabama and Georgia could enforce key aspects of their laws against illegal immigration that allow police to check the status of criminal suspects.
The decisions were in line with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a similar Arizona law, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta continued to block other parts of the two Southern states' laws, which have been challenged by the federal government and civil rights groups.
Judges said the laws' opponents were likely to prevail in their fight against provisions in both states that would make it a crime in some cases to knowingly harbor or transport an illegal immigrant.
The court also barred Alabama from requiring schools to check the immigration status of children upon enrollment and from requiring all immigrants to carry a registration document at all times.
"We conclude that most of the challenged provisions cannot stand," the court said regarding the Obama administration's case against Alabama.
The rulings follow a split Supreme Court decision in June on Arizona's first-of-its-kind crackdown on people who are in the country illegally in which the court upheld a measure requiring police to check the immigration status of people they stop and suspect are in the country illegally.