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Updated Jun 9, 2014 - 4:52 pm

Judge OKs deal dismissing most of Obama's challenge to Arizona immigration law

PHOENIX -- A judge has approved an agreement to dismiss the most contentious parts of the Obama administration's challenge to Arizona's 2010 immigration law.

The deal between the U.S. Justice Department and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer ends the federal challenge to the law's requirement that police, while enforcing other laws, question the immigration status of people suspected of being in the country illegally.

In exchange, the state agreed to permanently shelve the law's prohibition on harboring immigrants who are in the country illegally. The courts had already blocked that section on a preliminary basis.

Both sides tentatively agreed to the deal more than a week ago. It was approved Monday by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.

All that remains of the Obama administration's case is its challenge of a minor revision to a 2005 smuggling law that was contained in the 2010 statute. Lawyers on both sides were unable to reach an agreement on this section.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the questioning requirement, but threw out the law's requirement that immigrants carry registration papers and its ban on people who are in the country illegally from seeking work in public places.

While the Obama lawsuit now challenges only a minor portion of the law, a coalition of civil rights groups is mounting a broader challenge to the law. No trial date has yet been set in that case.

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