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Sunday, June 19, 2011 - 8:01pm

Hearing on Immigration Law Today

Updated: 3 years ago.
Opponents of Georgia's new immigration law run the gamut from Spanish-speaking groups to farmers who say the law is chasing migrant workers away. Supporters of the law say the state is only doing what the federal government has failed to do.

A federal judge could decide as early as today whether he will grant a temporary injunction of Georgia’s new immigration law.

Judge Thomas Thrash will hold a hearing in Atlanta on a motion by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups to block the law from going into effect on July 1.

The groups seeking the injunction say the measure unconstitutionally pre-empts federal law. They have filed a class-action lawsuit.

Azadeh Shahshahani is an attorney with the ACLU.

“What we are asking the court to do is to temporarily block the law from implementation until there is a fuller chance for the courts to examine the arguments on the constitutionality of the law,” she said.

The law allows the police to check the immigration status of some criminal suspects.

The state attorney general’s office is defending Georgia in the lawsuit. Spokeswoman Lauren Kane has said the lawsuit is without merit, and that General Assembly validly enacted the law, giving Georgia every right to enforce it.

The State of Georgia has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. At the same time, Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries have joined the ACLU in its lawsuit.

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