WASHINGTON — A coalition of immigrant rights groups filed a suit on Wednesday to block South Carolina’s crackdown on unauthorized immigration, saying the law is unconstitutional and would encourage racial profiling.
The lawsuit may be a harbinger of things to come for the South Carolina law, which is similar in many ways to laws in Arizona, Georgia and Alabama. The law, which is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, requires police officers to ask about immigration status during routine stops if they have “reasonable suspicion” the person in question could be undocumented.
In Alabama and Arizona, similar laws led to challenges from the Department of Justice. Most provisions of the Arizona law, S.B. 1070, were blocked on Jun. 28, 2010, one day before the law was set to go into effect. Attempts to block most of the H.B. 46 immigration enforcement law in Alabama before its implementation date were unsuccessful, but DOJ lawyers appealed to federal courts last week to prevent its enforcement.
Those two laws also faced a barrage of lawsuits from immigrant rights groups, including the coalition that is now suing South Carolina over its law.
The South Carolina law, S.B. 20, has not been challenged by the Department of Justice, although the agency is reviewing it to determine whether it would interfere with federal law enforcement efforts.
Meanwhile, rights groups are pushing for the law to be blocked before it can be implemented. The American Civil Liberties Union joined with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Law Center and other immigrant rights groups on the lawsuit. (more…)
Filed under: Alabama, Arizona-copycat laws, immigrant community, Law Enforcement, S.B. 20, South Carolina | Tagged: ACLU, Andre Segura, E-Verify, Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit, immigrant rights, Migration Policy Institute, National Immigration Law Center, South Carolina Appleseed, South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, Tammy Besherse | Leave a Comment »