SC illegal immigration bill heads to governor

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - - A bill that requires police in South Carolina to check suspects' legal status and mandates that all businesses check their hires through a federal online system is one step from becoming law.

The House voted 69-43 on Tuesday to agree with the Senate's changes and send the bill to Gov. Nikki Haley. Her spokesman says she will sign it.

The bill expands on an anti-illegal-immigration law passed in 2008 that was considered among the nation's toughest. The bill requires officers to call federal immigration officials if they suspect someone is in the country illegally.

The question must follow an arrest or traffic stop for something else. The measure bars officers from holding someone on that suspicion.

Opponents say the bill will encourage racial profiling and lead to lawsuits.

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