SC lawmakers advance illegal immigration measure

Associated Press - February 8, 2011 7:05 PM ET

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A bill designed to further crack down on illegal immigration in South Carolina has advanced.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 on Tuesday to send the measure to the full Senate.

It would direct officers to check the immigration status of a person they suspect is in the country illegally. But the questions must follow a stop for something else. Producing a valid driver's license, passport or military ID would satisfy the query.

The proposal resembles a measure passed in Arizona last year that inspired a flurry of lawsuits and protests.

South Carolina's bill differs in that it directs local law enforcement to call Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to alert them. If ICE agents don't respond to the call, the suspect will not be held.

Opponents call the bill discriminatory.

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