Terry Frieden, CNN, November 1, 2011
Justice Department officials pressed their campaign against an immigration law in South Carolina on Monday, saying the measure passed there this summer unconstitutionally pre-empts federal authority.
South Carolina’s law also could lead to the harassment and detention of authorized visitors, immigrants and citizens, federal officials argue in court documents.
The law would “undermine federal law and invade federal authority by imposing punitive sanctions for conduct that falls outside of the state’s police powers and that Congress affirmatively decided should not be subject to such sanctions. And it will interfere with and undermine the federal government’s control over relations with foreign governments,” officials argue, referring to the state trying to require the carrying of documents to prove residency.
Justice Department executives told reporters late Monday they are currently discussing the issue with officials in three other states and their planned approaches to immigration enforcement. The officials said they continue to review the plans of Utah, Indiana and Georgia, which have also passed immigration-related laws.