U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel has blocked portions of the South Carolina immigration law that requires law enforcement officials to confirm the immigration status of any individual believed to be in violation of U.S. immigration law. Judge Gergel further blocked provisions of the law that criminalize the act of harboring or transporting undocumented immigrants. The law was schedule to take effect on January 1, 2012.
The Justice Department, the A.C.L.U., and the Southern Poverty Law Center have challenged the constitutionality of the law arguing that only the federal government maintains constitutional authority over the regulation of federal immigration law. In rendering his decision, Judge Gergel acknowledged the “traditionally predominant role of the federal government in the field of immigration.”
A spokesman for South Carolina’s governor, Nikki R. Haley issued the following response on Thursday: “If the feds were doing their job, we wouldn’t have had to address illegal immigration reform at the state level, but, until they do, we’re going to keep fighting in South Carolina to be able to enforce our laws.”
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