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The U.S. government seeks to halt Alabama immigration law

The U.S. Justice Department has asked a federal court of appeals to block Alabama's tough new immigration law.

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The U.S. Justice Department asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday to block Alabama's new immigration law while it seeks a review of a recent ruling that allows parts of the law to be enforced, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

"That state regime contravenes the federal government's exclusive authority over immigration," the filing said, according to ABC News. "The law also invites discrimination against many foreign-born citizens and lawfully present aliens, including legal residents, by making it a crime for any landlord to rent housing to an unlawfully present alien, invalidating all contracts with unlawfully present aliens, and even targeting school-age children with an alien registration system.”

A coalition of civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty Law Center, have filed a separate lawsuit against the legislation.

(More from GlobalPost: Group appeals Alabama immigration law ruling)

After Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed Alabama’s tough new immigration law in June, U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn in Birmingham, Ala., temporarily blocked it while she reviewed the multiple lawsuits that were filed against the measure. On Sept. 29, she ruled that several sections of the law could be implemented. These included requiring that public schools determine the legal residency of students and detaining suspected illegal immigrants if they could not produce proper documentation when stopped for any reason, Reuters reports.

The impact of the law has been immediate, The Associated Press reports.

According to the AP:

Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children from classes or kept them home from school. Some towns and urban areas have also reported a sudden exodus of Hispanics, some of whom told officials they planned to leave the state to avoid trouble with the law.

"Other states and their citizens are poorly served by the Alabama policy, which seeks to drive aliens from Alabama rather than achieve cooperation with the federal government to resolve a national problem," the government’s filing said, according to the AP.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has said he stands by the law, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

“The fact that the Department of Justice has appealed, comes as no surprise,” Bentley said today in an e-mailed statement, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “I remain committed to seeing that this law is fully implemented. We will continue to defend this law against any and all challenges.”