South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center joined with other interested organizations in filing an Amicus (friend of the court) brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down the Arizona law. Click to view Brief of Amici Curiae
SC Appleseed joined with many of the same organizations in challenging South Carolina’s copycat statute. Immigration enforcement is one of the few areas of law that the Supreme Court has held to be exclusively federal in nature. Because the federal government is granted power over issues of citizenship as well as the exclusive power to enter into treaties with foreign nations by the United States Constitution, most courts have held that state statutes that attempt to enforce immigration law outside the scope of federal guidelines are unconstitutional. Both Arizona and South Carolina passed statutes that attempted to regulate immigration by mandating enforcement by state and local police departments.
As it turns out, there was a big giant loophole in South Carolina’s attempt to take the title of unfriendliest state for immigrants. South Carolina lawmakers must have seen stories about crops rotting in the fields in Alabama and Georgia, because as the Latin American Herald Tribune reports, South Carolina exempted farm labor from new e-verify requirements. But that’s not all. Legislators also saw fit to exempt nannies, pastors and some fishermen from the requirements.
Tammy Besherse, with South Carolina Appleseed, attended most of the hearings. She spoke with the Latin American Herald Tribune and told them she did not recall any discussion of exemptions.
So if you’re hiring a doctor, construction worker or wait staff, make sure you run them through the federal database to see if they are documented. But if you’re hiring a farm worker or a nanny, no worries.Perhaps Ivan Segura, vice president of the Council of Mexicans in the Carolinas, said it best…
“It’s like saying we don’t want undocumented people in South Carolina unless they pick fruit and vegetables and look after our kids.”
A United SC continues to believe in the virtue of welcoming all visitors to our state.
After the Alabama legislature passed its Arizona-on-steroids anti-immigrant law last June, Hollywood’s Chris Weitz, whose directing credits include About a Boy and The Golden Compass, took his camera down there to ask the locals, “Is this Alabama?“
Weitz’s camera captured some ugliness, but it also found the good people of Alabama denouncing their state’s major step backwards. A lot of us South Carolinians should be able to relate. Often we see our worst elements making the national news, leaving us to wish that outsiders could see what the rest of us have to offer. Just recently, the audience at the GOP primary debate in Myrtle Beach embarrassed our state by fiercely booing the African-American moderator who challenged Newt Gingrich’s racist lies about food stamps.
We know that lots of good people live here, but it was the angry mob of bigots that was broadcast across the nation. With that in mind, check out Weitz’s videos: