16 Nations Challenge South Carolina’s Immigration Law

Joining into a Federal lawsuit against South Carolina’s version of Arizona’s ‘Papers Please’ law now are 16 foreign countries.

It’s not the first time that foreign countries have raised what they see as serious concerns about the treatment of their citizens in the US.

Arizona’s law prompted Mexico to issue a travel warning to all citizens visiting, working or studying in the state. Mexican President Felipe Calderón called the law “discriminatory.”

Mexico joined lawsuits against Arizona’s law and it has again with South Carolina’s, as has Honduras, Brazil, Ecuador and Chile.

Like Arizona’s law, it requires law officers who make a traffic stop to call federal immigration officials if they suspect someone is in the country illegally. Which, like Arizona’s law, opponents say, would encourage stops for ‘driving while brown’ — racial profiling. The federal lawsuit says the law “creates a significant risk of harassment of lawfully present aliens and even US citizens.”

The Justice Department lawyers suit is aimed at stopping the law from taking effect in January. They say that immigration policy is solely the domain of the federal government.

The South Carolina law means that all foreigners have to carry their ‘immigration papers’ at all times, raising fears for the impact on foreign tourism. It also makes it a crime for anyone to ‘transport or harbor illegal aliens,’ meaning that South Carolinians will have to ask for someone’s papers if offering them a lift.

In June, Gov. Nikki Haley said the law was intended to “make sure that anyone that was illegal found another state to go to.”

Said Assistant Attorney General Tony West in announcing the federal lawsuit:

“Pushing undocumented individuals out of one state and into another is simply not a solution to our immigration challenges.”

Parts of Arizona’s similar law were blocked by a federal judge in July last year and that decision was then upheld by a federal appeals court. Arizona has appealed to the Supreme Court, which is considering whether to take the case.

Alabama’s law, which is regarded as more draconian, has had a number of sections declared unconstitutional and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said Tuesday that it may require changes to ‘simplify’ it.

The Justice Department civil rights division is collecting complaints about enforcement of immigration-related laws and similar measures.

“We’ll continue to review these laws to make sure in none of these states are these laws being implemented in a way that results in impermissible discrimination,” said attorney Matthew Colangelo of the civil rights division.

Related stories:

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69 comments

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

Christina B.
Christina B.4 years ago

This Nikki Haley person sounds like a real genius. Not!

@Amy D.
Woah there, lady! Who are these people you so easily call "illegal, period end of story"? I suppose it never crossed your mind that some of them may be perfectly legal, visiting turists or even US citizens. I guess people like you is the answer to the question "Why are countries ran by stupid politicians?".

Dave F.
Dave F.4 years ago

Enforcement through Attrition is the operation of Mandatory E-Verify. Call Washington and strongly demand that Lamar Smith’s ‘The Legal Workforce Act’ be passed now. It will save American jobs from unscrupulous business owners who are colluding with lawmakers to kill this bill. All illegal aliens must go and our laws enforced. Don’t hesitate; don’t wait as more reluctant lawmakers are co-sponsoring bill (H.R.2885.) The Washington switchboard at 202-224-3121 is already inundated with infuriated callers, who are justifiably contacting their representatives. Now it’s your turn? Study more about costs and the 20 million already here. Stop this travesty of the ‘Rule of Law.” NumbersUSA has all the facts and not lies from the Democrats.

Kelly W.
Kelly W.4 years ago

How is this not being kind? Expecting visitors to carry their papers in their pockets? We do.

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence4 years ago

Can't we just be kind to one another?

ROLF P.
ROLF P.4 years ago

Of course they learned from Castro, got to get rid of your undesirables some how, killing them is no longer politically correct, thanks to the Western World. We would rather protect them by keeping them in cages so they can get more and more angry while sodomizing each other. And lets not forget they will better prepared when we let them out because of overcrowding, is,t it great how civilized we have become?

Jane H.
Jane H.4 years ago

good for these countries.

Tim Cheung
Tim C.4 years ago

thanks