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Groups ask fed court to halt Ala. immigration law
Advocacy groups ask federal appeals court to block enforcement of Ala. immigration law
By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) ' A coalition of immigrant support groups has asked a federal appeals court to block enforcement of Alabama's new immigration law.

The coalition said it filed the petition to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta several hours after the federal government filed its challenge.

The filing said the new law has brought "chaos" to Alabama. It was brought by a coalition that includes the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Alabama's law is considered by many to be the toughest immigration law in the U.S. It allows authorities to detain people suspected of being in the country illegally and lets officials check the immigration status of students in public schools.

State officials say the law is needed to protect the jobs of legal residents.

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