UPDATE: State to appeal judge’s decision to block law

ATLANTA – Georgia officials are planning to appeal a judge’s decision to strike down a portion of the state’s new law aimed at curbing illegal immigration.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash on Monday struck down two provisions of the law, including a provision that would have allowed law enforcement personnel to check the immigration stats of criminal suspects they suspect to be in the country illegally and who cannot produce a valid identification.

“Gov. (Nathan) Deal is disappointed that the court enjoined two sections of Georgia’s immigration law,” Brian Robinson, the governor’s deputy chief of staff for communications, said in a statement. “Curiously, the court writes ‘all illegal aliens will leave Georgia’ if the law is enforced, as if it is appalled at the thought of people attaining visas before coming to our nation.

“The federal court’s ruling, however, will crystallize for Georgians and other Americans our underlying problem: Beyond refusing to help with our state’s illegal immigration problem, the federal government is determined to be an obstacle,” Robinson added. “The state of Georgia narrowly tailored its immigration law to conform with existing federal law and court rulings. Georgians can rest assured that this battle doesn’t end here; we will appeal this decision.”

Monday’s ruling is the fourth time a judge has struck down such a law, according to the ACLU.

“Georgia’s law, like Arizona’s, Utah’s, and Indiana’s before it, has been blocked by a federal court because it is fundamentally flawed,” Omar Jadwat, a staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement. “The universal failure of these laws in the courts is a stinging rebuke to state lawmakers who have pushed laws that would threaten all of our freedoms in order to express their hostility to immigrants and immigration. Thanks to today’s ruling, Georgia will not become a ‘show me your papers’ state on July 1.”

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