Supreme Court and Immigration Law in South Carolina

Supreme courtU.S. District Judge Richard Gergel is holding a hearing today in Charleston to rule on South Carolina’s immigration law.

South Carolina’s law, which was modeled after Arizona’s SB 1070 law, was for the most part blocked in December 2011. Among the section that went into effect are the requirement that employers must fulfill by checking the legal status of all new employees through e-verify. Other parts were regarded as unconstitutional.

What is e-verify?

The provisions that were blocked were the following: one that make it a state crime to not carry papers proving lawful status, one that do not allow illegal immigrants to transport themselves or have a house, and the one that allows police officials the permission to check the immigration status of a person if they have suspicion that he or she is illegal. In September, the U.S. Supreme Court did allow the “show-me-your-papers” provision in Arizona.

Proponents of the law are interesting in having the “show-me-your-papers” provision pass. It is precisely why it’s going back to court. Judge Gergel filed paperwork earlier this summer saying that his decision would need to be revised. Since it passed for Arizona’s law, many believe there’s no reason for it to not pass in South Carolina.

South Carolina officers will not be allowed to check the immigration status on routine stops until it is deemed acceptable by the Supreme Court’s ruling.