South Carolina is the Latest State to Draw Justice Department's Immigration Ire

On October 31, the U.S. Department of Justice sued South Carolina over the state’s new law that cracks down on illegal immigration.

South Carolina’s law, set to take effect in January, requires police officers to determine the immigration status of anyone they detain and creates a felony charge for people in the country illegally.

In its suit, the Justice Department claimed that the law would:

Undermine federal law and invade federal authority by imposing punitive sanctions for conduct that falls outside of the state’s police powers and that Congress affirmatively decided should not be subject to such sanctions.

The Department made similar claims in previous lawsuits against Arizona and Alabama, arguing that the authority to enforce immigration law rests with the federal government. Federal courts blocked the enforcement of Arizona's law and parts of Alabama's. Both states are appealing those decisions.

A spokesman for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said, “As the daughter of immigrants of who came to this country legally, Gov. Haley understands that no American value is more sacred than the rule of law.” He also said that the state was forced to act only because the federal government was not enforcing immigration laws.

While her spokesman stressed that Haley’s parents immigrated legally, you might not expect a first-generation American to become one of the faces of illegal immigration crackdown efforts, along with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Arizona Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. During Haley's run for governor, a state senator called her a “fucking raghead.” Haley is the state’s first Indian American governor, as well as its first female governor. As a child, the owners of a home the Haley family sought to purchase refused to sell because they didn’t wan’t people with “brown skin” living there.

For those who draw a clear line between Haley's parents and "illegals," Shikha Dalmia has written about "the root cause of the large illegal population: lack of legal avenues for unskilled aliens to enter the U.S." She also contributed to Reason's illustration of America's Absurd Immigration Waiting Line, which details just how many years or even decades legal immigration take for most people–if they make it through the process at all.  

Read further Reason reporting on Arizona and Alabama's crackdowns on illegal immigration. More Reason on immigration here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    1) The Department of Justice can go fuck itself sideways.

    2) The sort of information available to any agent of government (including cops) on anybody is very, very concerning. I bet this entails further intrusions of the like.

  • ||

    A national ID card?

  • o2||

    "...lack of legal avenues for unskilled aliens to enter the U.S."
    _
    because of the (false) RW meme that americans want those [JOBZ]. many thanks to the GA & bama gop for exposing another wingnut lie.

  • The Major||

    a state senator called her a “fucking raghead.”

    And the strange thing was... throughout the morning she kept referring to the Indians as niggers. "No no no," I said, "the niggers are the West Indians. These people are wogs." "No, no," she said. "All cricketers are niggers."
  • GILMORE||

    Crikey...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wog

    The origin of the term is unknown, though unsupported folk etymology has much to say. Many dictionaries say "wog" derives from the Golliwogg, a blackface minstrel doll character from a children's book published in 1895. An alternative is that "wog" originates from Pollywog, a maritime term for someone who has not crossed the equator. Various acronymical origins like "worthy/wily oriental gentlemen" have been suggested, although the term appears to predate the regular use of acronyms. It was first noted by lexicographer F.C. Bowen, who recorded it in 1929 in his Sea slang: a dictionary of the old-timers’ expressions and epithets, where he defines wogs as "lower class Babu shipping clerks on the Indian coast."[1]

    The saying "The wogs begin at Calais" was originated by George Wigg, Labour MP for Dudley, in 1949. In a parliamentary debate concerning the Burmese, Wigg shouted at the Conservative benches, "The Honourable Gentleman and his friends think they are all 'wogs'. Indeed, the Right Honourable Member for Woodford [i.e. Winston Churchill] thinks that the 'wogs' begin at Calais."[2] Wigg's coinage, sometimes paraphrased as "Wogs start at the Channel" or "Wogs start at Dover", is used to characterise a "stodgy Europhobic" viewpoint, and more generally the view that Britain (more so England) is inherently separate from and superior to the Continent. In this case, "wog" is used to compare any foreign, non-British person to those more traditionally labelled "wogs".

    Everyone knows this country started to go to shit when they let the Irish in...

    That aside, I think calling Indians 'ragheads' is a misnomer. Arabs, man, arabs! I think the Indians that do rock some form of traditional headgear (e.g. Sikhs) do so *in style*.

  • rts||

    Plus Sikhs carry kirpans... so, enjoy your stabbing if you go around calling them ragheads.

    (Yes, I know, kirpans are not for stabbing... still...)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Gov. Haley understands that no American value is more sacred than the rule of law

    Even more sacred than Liberty?

  • ||

    Of course! Very very few countries are founded on the principle of liberty.

    But lots and lots of countries share the principle of the of rule of law! Therefore, it's more sacred.

  • ||

    +100. Absolute obedience to the laws of liberty, yeah, but not what Congress decided to cook up over cocktails

  • Colin||

    I once read that the worst assholes during the Inquisition were the former Jews trying to show that they were now good Christians.

    That's exactly what's happened to her.

    I'd love to see all the illegals leave her state and then watch as their economy tanks worse than it's doing already when the increased price of labor causes everything to rise in price.

  • IceTrey||

    "arguing that the authority to enforce immigration law rests with the federal government."

    WRONG!

    Article 1 section 8 gives the Congress the authority

    "To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,..."

    That means they decide how an immigrant becomes a citizen. As sovereign states each State has the right to decide who is on it's territory legally.

  • ||

    This is correct.

  • ||

    ""As sovereign states each State has the right to decide who is on it's territory legally.""

    They would have to check with the feds to see if that person is naturalized. If we really are going to crack down on illegal folks, we need a way to prove we are a citizen of the US. Therefore a national ID card. However today it might not need be a physical card, just a number in a federal database. Either way you end up with a national ID number.

  • Eitan||

    Actually, I've noticed 1st generation immigrants tend to be virulent in their anti-illegal immigration views, mostly because they had to do it the hard way, as they see it. I have a bunch of different eastern European immigrant friends whose hatred for Mexicans rivals conservatives' rhetoric.

  • Nike Dunk High Women||

    thanks

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement