March 07, 2014

Retreat by Attorney General on South Carolina's Arizona -Like Show Me Your Papers Immigration Law

In a win for civil rights immigration advocates, South Carolina has abandoned several key provisions of its Arizona-like harsh immigration law. Many states have taken a state-by-state approach as of late to immigration law enforcement. South Carolina was one of the harsher ones, like Arizona, having passed a law in 2011 that made it a crime to harbor or transport unauthorized immigrants, and for legal immigrants not to carry their papers. It also required state and local police to check the immigration status of people they suspected were here illegally.

South Carolina's Attorney General, Alan Wilson, has acknowledged his state is not likely to defeat the array of legal challenges facing the law since the Supreme Court has already struck down similar provisions of an Arizona law. Mr. Wilson went even further and issued a formal opinion in which he clarified that South Carolina's show me your papers provision did not allow police officers to detain someone solely to check their immigration status. If a police officer has conducted a lawful stop and he has no other reason to hold a person, they must be released, they cannot be further detained to determine their immigration status. 

This is a big win for immigrants rights' which are being threatened nationwide by the efforts of local police and government to enforce federal immigration law. 

Source: NY Times

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