SEIU: U.S. Department of Justice Rightly Challenges South Carolina Immigration Law

WASHINGTON, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–November 1, 2011.  The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Monday against South Carolina’s harsh immigration law on the grounds that it violates the U.S. Constitution by interfering with the federal government’s jurisdiction over immigration law. The South Carolina law would require law enforcement to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops when they have “reasonable suspicion” that a person may by undocumented. It also would criminalize the provision of transportation or rental housing to undocumented immigrants.

SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina responded to the Justice Department’s lawsuit in the following statement:

“The federal government must step in and attempt to block South Carolina’s erroneous immigration control law that violates the U.S. Constitution. States may not create their own immigration policy.

“This lawsuit follows one in Arizona which has been temporarily blocked by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and another in Alabama which has been partially blocked by the 11th Circuit Court.

“In Alabama, where some of the most egregious provisions have been allowed to take effect pending a trial on the merits of the law, chaos has ensued as racial profiling has taken hold. Legal immigrants and Latino citizens are fleeing the state, children have quit going to school, utility companies are threatening to shut off service and landlords are warning of evictions. Meanwhile, contractors, growers and other businesses affected by the law are facing their own economic crises.

“Alabama serves as a profound example of why the South Carolina law must be stopped.”