Civil Rights Groups Sue South Carolina's Immigration Law
1 year ago
The Lawsuit Comes Weeks After Alabama Passed Same Law
The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, allows police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest—evening during a routine traffic stop—and makes it a crime for anyone to transport or harbor an illegal immigrant.
An Alabama Judge recently passed a similar law that also requires schools to verify students’ immigration status. Because of the passing, over 2,000 Hispanic students in the state didn’t show up for class the following Monday, Politico reported.
The ACLU and civil rights groups claim the South Carolina law is unconstitutional in several respects. In the complaint, it states the law will “subject South Carolinians — including U.S. citizens and non-citizens with permission from the federal government to remain in the United States — to unlawful interrogations, prolonged detentions, and arrests.” The class-action lawsuit also claims the law violates federal jurisdiction in handling immigration matters.
“This lawsuit is the latest in our ongoing fight against these unconstitutional laws,” ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project attorney Andre Segura said in a statement. “In recent days, we have seen the destructive results of a similar law in Alabama, and the people of South Carolina should not face the same fate. This draconian law must be blocked, as it tramples our American values, interferes with federal laws and risks turning South Carolina into a police state.”
The Obama administration requested to block certain portions of the Alabama law and said it is examining South Carolina’s law to decide whether to challenge its measures.