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Judge OKs immigration check, blocks other parts of S.C. law

By Samantha Kimmey
Thursday, November 15, 2012 17:35 EDT
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A judge and a gavel. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
 
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A federal judge has blocked most of a South Carolina immigration law that, similar to the infamous Arizona law, created strict laws surrounding undocumented immigrants.

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out parts of the similar Arizona law this past summer but let stand the ability of police officers to check the immigration status for those they pull over — what has been called the “show me your papers” law.

The U.S District judge in the South Carolina ruling, Richard Gergel, said that the state gets “the right to make an inquiry” about a person’s immigration status, reported Fox News Latino.

But in line with what the Supreme Court ruled, Gergel blocked provisions that made it a crime to offer undocumented immigrants housing or transportation. It also blocked a provision that made undocumented or unlawful presence a state crime.

The ACLU lauds the decision. Andre Segura, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a press statement, “The court reaffirmed that it would be unconstitutional for state and local officers to detain individuals on the basis of their status alone and left open the door to future challenges involving civil rights abuses under this law.”

“Today’s ruling sends a message that South Carolinians will not be criminalized for being good neighbors and that targeting people based solely on their race will not be tolerated,” said Mary Bauer, legal director for the SPLC.

[Image: A judge and a gavel, via Shutterstock]

 
 
 
 
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