SC immigration law provision could soon be implemented - FOX Carolina 21

SC immigration law provision could soon be implemented

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

It's a split verdict on the Arizona Immigration Law after the Supreme Court released its ruling Monday.

The justices struck down many provisions, but a key one was upheld by all eight judges.

It's being called the "show me your papers" provision, and it allows local law enforcement to check on the immigration status of the people they've stopped specifically for another reason.

A provision in South Carolina's immigration law is similar to the "show me your papers" Arizona provision. It's one of three that were initially enacted, but then blocked by a federal judge last winter before they could be implemented in the state.

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the provision, it could take effect here in South Carolina.

For Sen. Larry Martin of Pickens County, co-writer and sponsor of the South Carolina Immigration Law, Monday's decision was a welcome one.

"We feel good about it," Martin said. "From what we set out to implement, we have about 80 to 85 percent of the law intact.

Most of that has to do with the "show me your papers" provision, but some said they're cautious about the law, and what it could bring. They fear it could potentially encourage racial profiling - that law enforcement would detain individuals based on the color of their skin.

"It is my hope that will not happen," said Evelyn Lugo of the South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "I can't imagine myself going out, being stopped just because I look different."

The Chamber said they do believe that won't happen in the Upstate, but they're concerned about the economy. They predict people will leave for a state without the law, including those who are in the country legally.

"We don't want to have to be in fear every time we go out," Lugo said. "To have to prove we are a citizen."

But the South Carolina Attorney General said they're doing everything they can to make this a tough, but fair law.

"It prohibits profiling, there are strict rules that are meant to protect," said Alan Wilson, South Carolina Attorney General. "Our way is to be very careful that we aren't violating someone's rights"

The Supreme Court's decision isn't set in stone - constitutional challenges to the law could proceed if racial profiling does occur.

The next step for the "show me your papers" provision in South Carolina is the attorney general will ask the court of appeals to allow it to go into effect in the state. The office said they plan to have that petition completed mid-to-late July.

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