Thursday, December 22, 2011

Immigration Law Blocked in SC and Denial in GA

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel temporarily blocked parts of South Carolina's measure. He ruled that the federal government has exclusive constitutional authority to regulate immigration and the state's law would disrupt federal enforcement operations.

Reuters: The U.S. Department of Justice and a coalition of civil rights groups had sued to keep some aspects of the law from going into effect on January 1.

The judge said South Carolina could not require police officers to check the immigration status of a person they stop for even a minor traffic violation if they have "reasonable suspicion" that the person is in the country illegally.
This "state-mandated scrutiny is without consideration of federal enforcement priorities and unquestionably vastly expands the persons targeted for immigration enforcement action," Gergel said.
Gergel also barred South Carolina from making it a felony for anyone knowingly to harbor or transport an undocumented person.
The state cannot require immigrants to carry federal alien registration documents because such registration is under the exclusive control of the federal government, the judge said.

AJC - A federal appeals court in Atlanta on Thursday denied Georgia’s request to delay legal arguments over the state’s new immigration law pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision on a similar measure in Arizona.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its denial in a one-page order Thursday without explanation. That court is expected to hear oral arguments in the case some time between Feb. 28 and March 2.
Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens asked the court for the delay last week, just three days after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a lower court's decision to block several portions of Arizona's law. The higher court will be ruling on issues similar to ones at play before the appeals court in Atlanta.

 Edited by Anibal Ibarra

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