updated 8/20/2012 5:31:34 PM ET 2012-08-20T21:31:34

A federal appeals court has ruled law enforcement in Georgia may verify the immigration status of criminal suspects who fail to produce proper identification.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that a hold blocking that section of the state's 2011 immigration law should be lifted. It was not immediately clear when that would happen.

Related: Undocumented immigrants confront author of strict immigration laws

The panel did leave in place part of the injunction blocking a section that allows the prosecution of certain individuals who knowingly harbor or transport an illegal immigrant during the commission of a crime.

A lower court must still rule on a challenge to the law by activist groups. Monday's decision dealt only with preliminary injunctions.

The decision tracks a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding parts of a similar law in Arizona.

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