The legal battle over how far states can go in combating illegal immigration will resume Thursday when a federal appeals court in Atlanta hears arguments over Georgia’s and Alabama’s enforcement laws. Officials from both those states say they needed to adopt the laws to protect jobs and taxpayer-funded resources because the federal government has not done enough to keep illegal immigrants out of the country. Civil and immigrant rights groups say the statutes are divisive and unconstitutional, and that they interfere with the federal government’s authority to regulate immigration and manage foreign relations.

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