(CNN) — A federal appeals court has blocked enforcement of parts of a controversial immigration enforcement law in Alabama.
The injunction issued Friday from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta came after the U.S. Justice Department — supported by a coalition of immigrant rights groups — requested the legislation, known as HB 56, be put on hold until the larger constitutional questions can be addressed, a process that could take some months at least.
The 16-page order gives both sides partial victories, allowing some parts of the law to go into effect while others are temporarily blocked.
The Obama administration says the Constitution does not permit states to deter illegal immigration, saying an issue with foreign policy implications is the exclusive mandate of the federal government.
Alabama’s law, passed by the legislature this summer, would allow state and local officials to check the immigration status of public school students and to detain suspected undocumented immigrants without bond. It would make it a crime for immigrants who lack proper documents to conduct business with the state for things such as driver’s licenses.