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Old November 1st, 2011, 01:15 AM
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Default South Carolina immigration law challenged by Justice Dept.

Obama administration has also gone after Arizona and Alabama laws

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's administration sought on Monday to block parts of South Carolina's new immigration law, arguing that the federal government had preeminent authority over immigration matters.

The Justice Department is asking a federal court to intervene, bringing to three the number of states the Obama administration is suing over immigration crackdowns.

The court filing sought an injunction against portions of the state law, which is set to take effect on Jan. 1 and toughens measures against undocumented immigrants.

The government earlier challenged Alabama's new law.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to take up a challenge to Arizona's immigration law.

Monday's action is directed at parts of the new South Carolina law that, for example:

Require police to determine immigration status during any lawful stop, detention, investigation, or arrest where there is "reasonable suspicion" that an individual is unlawfully present;
Allow state residents to sue any local government agency that moves to limit enforcement of state immigration laws;
Create a state crime of "allowing oneself to be transported" for the purpose of harboring someone here illegally or concealing a person's immigration status.

"By pursuing retribution and ignoring every other objective embodied in the federal immigration system (including the federal government's prioritization of the removal of criminal aliens)," the Justice Department argued, the South Carolina law "conflicts with and otherwise stands as an obstacle to Congress's demand for sufficient flexibility in the enforcement of federal immigration law to accommodate the competing interests of immigration control, national security and public safety, humanitarian concerns, and foreign relations."

With the failure of Congress in recent years to pass comprehensive federal immigration legislation, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Utah, South Carolina and Indiana have passed their own.

Supporters and opponents alike agree none contained provisions as strict as those passed in Alabama, among them one that required schools to check students' immigration status. That provision, which has been temporarily blocked, would allow the Supreme Court to reconsider a decision that said a kindergarten to high school education must be provided to illegal immigrants.

NBC's Pete Williams as well as Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

<hr>Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.<hr>

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Old November 1st, 2011, 09:04 AM
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there goes the neighborhood

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