Friday, December 23, 2011

Key Parts Of South Carolina's Immigration Enforcement Law Blocked By Federal Judge

Federal government has exclusive constitutional authority to regulate and enforce immigration laws, a federal judge ruled.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 23, 2011

Charleston, South Carolina - On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel granted the U.S. Department of Justice's injunction request to block key provisions of South Carolina's immigration enforcement bill. Judge Gergel decided to block three key parts of the state's law, law enforcement officers are barred from asking the legal status of any person stopped during minor traffic infraction or any other type of violations, which they suspect is in the country illegally. Also, his decision prevents South Carolina from making it a felony for harboring or transporting undocumented immigrants and barred enforcement for illegal immigrants to carry documents or registration of their status in the country.
Judge Gergel ruled, that the federal government has the sole authority to regulate and enforce federal immigration laws. South Carolina is the sixth state to have their immigration enforcement law temperarily blocked in federal court. The five other states who were also blocked from enforcing their immigration enforcement laws are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana and Utah.
Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law, which lost several federal court appeals to unblock key provisions of enforcement will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision whether state's can implement their own immigration enforcement laws will be decided in six or more months.

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