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11-17-2012, 12:07 AM #1
SC to Start Enforcing Part of State Immigration Law
By: Robert Kittle | WSAV News 3
Published: November 16, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. --
South Carolina will soon start enforcing part of its controversial state immigration law, after a federal judge lifted one of his injunctions blocking it.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel lifted the injunction that he put in place last year because the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a similar part of Arizona's law. So now, local police, state troopers and State Transport Police can check the immigration status of someone they stop or arrest for something else.
"After a lawful stop has been made for a violation here in South Carolina, if they have reasonable suspicion, then they can further investigate," says Lt. Eddie Johnson, commander of the state's Immigration Enforcement Unit, which is part of the Department of Public Safety.
His unit will train police around the state on how to enforce the law. He says a key part of the law is the term "reasonable suspicion."
"Before we get into specifics, we're going to discuss those things with the attorney general's office, with ICE (federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement) as to some of the specifics on their end, and then we're going to push that out so that everybody will have it at the same time and there won't be any misunderstanding as to what we consider reasonable suspicion," Johnson says.
Judge Gergel's decision includes a reminder that police could trigger a lawsuit if they appear to violate someone's civil rights. The U.S. Supreme Court also said in its ruling that police can't hold someone just so they can verify their immigration status, and they can't detain someone for an unreasonable amount of time while they check.
Gergel is still blocking parts of the state law that require immigrants to carry their documents and that make it illegal to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant.
SC to Start Enforcing Part of State Immigration Law | WSAV TV
11-17-2012, 09:54 AM #2South Carolina will soon start enforcing part of its controversial state immigration law, after a federal judge lifted one of his injunctions blocking it.