COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - - South Carolina legislators have advanced a bill that requires officers to try to check the status of people they suspect are in the country illegally.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 15-7 on Tuesday to send the bill to the House floor. Republicans who control the committee have called the bill a priority for the session.
Democratic Rep. Todd Rutherford of Columbia says the measure will worsen racial profiling that already occurs.
Democratic Rep. Bakari Sellers of Denmark says it's hypocritical for Republicans to talk about cutting government spending while pushing a bill that expands law enforcement's duties and creates a new unit to enforce state immigration laws.
The measure says the query must follow a stop or arrest for something else. It says people can't be held on that suspicion.