South Carolina, Rights Groups Settle Immigration Law Challenge

Harriet McLeod, Reuters, March 4, 2014

In a victory for immigrant rights supporters, South Carolina said on Monday it would no longer defend a key part of a 2011 law that required police to check the immigration status of people during stops.

State officials and a coalition of immigrant rights groups have agreed to settle a legal dispute over the law centering on its “show me your papers” section.

In court documents filed on Monday in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said the state interprets the provision to mean that police cannot detain someone solely to check their papers after the original reason for the stop has ended.

South Carolina’s law also does not allow police to jail a person simply to determine the person’s immigration status or to arrest a person believed to be in the country unlawfully, state Solicitor General Robert D. Cook wrote in a letter to Judge Richard M. Gergel.


Judge Gergel’s block of key parts of South Carolina’s immigration law, including the “show me your papers” provision, was upheld by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Wilson said in court documents that the state disagrees with those rulings, but that it would not continue to fight them.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the “show me your papers” part of Arizona’s tough immigration law was constitutional.

South Carolina is one of five states that modeled their laws after Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants. The others are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana and Utah.

Alabama reached a similar agreement last year with those who sued over its immigration law.

Court cases are in progress in Arizona to clarify the state immigration law, and in Utah, where the law remains blocked by a judge, Segura said.

“We’ve definitely noticed a sea change from three years ago when states were tripping over themselves trying to pass more divisive immigration laws,” Segura said. “Since 2011, no state or local jurisdiction has passed an anti-immigrant law.”


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  • Not that it matters, they wouldn’t get deported anyway.

    • ncpride

      Exactly. This is just not much of a ‘victory’ for the squatters due to our own government unwilling to enforce any part of our immigration laws at any level. That they constantly whine they are ‘living in the shadows’, being oppressed, and having families torn apart is a bigger lie than blacks with their endless braying about mythical White ‘racism’, which makes them no better, and actually even lower but they know it works.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      All part of the Democrat creation process.
      The Chicago gangsters are pleased.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    Mass 3rd world immigration causes nothing but problems. It’s time to end mass 3rd world immigration and begin mass 3rd world repatriation.

  • WR_the_realist

    Have you noticed that reporters always call laws of this nature “anti-immigrant” rather than “anti-illegal immigrant”?

  • Pro_Whitey

    I wonder if this is a case of Gov. Nikki Haley (actually a Sikh) to have her cake and eat it, too, to say that she wanted to enforce immigration law, but, oops, the court wouldn’t allow her, when in reality she did not want to enforce it at all. With non-enforcement she can now ingratiate herself with the like of Adelson, the Koch brothers, Zuckerberg, etc. In a related matter, I guess I have no grounds to complain, being from a blue state with horrible U.S. Senators, but to anyone from South Carolina reading: Anyone but Lindsey, please!

  • WR_the_realist

    My view exactly. Our rulers no longer even try to pretend that the system isn’t rotten to the core.

  • mobilebay

    I wonder why there is any pretense at all about enforcing our immigration laws? Why not just issue a statement from the White House welcoming the third world and inviting them to come and catch the brass ring. If we had to be disposessed, couldn’t it have been by a country superior to us in every way and not to the dregs of humanity? Seems like our leaders (or whoever is calling the shots) have had this plan in place for a very long time now.