ACLU files lawsuit against SC's Immigration Law

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against South Carolina's immigration law.

"It's unconstitutional. It interferes with the federal government's authority to enforce immigration laws," said Victoria Middleton, Executive Director of the ACLU.

Middleton said the union will challenge the state's immigration law because it's the federal government's job, not the state's, to regulate immigration. She also said it invites discrimination.

"It will also invite racial profiling and potentially impose a threat to all kinds of people in our community who are not criminals," Middleton said.

The South Carolina law requires local police to check a suspect's immigration status, which is similar to laws in other states. Middleton said it subjects people to unlawful search and interrogation.

Senator Larry Grooms said he's disappointed with the ACLU's decision to fight the law because it's in best interest of the state, and has nothing to do with discrimination.

"I'm not afraid of the ACLU, but what I am afraid of is the destructive power of illegal immigration on this nation and state. I'm just frustrated with what they did today," Grooms said.

Grooms said he celebrates legal immigration, but illegal immigration is becoming a problem in South Carolina.

"It's a slap in the face to those who have come here legally," Grooms said.

South Carolina's immigration law is supposed to take effect Jan. 1.

Arizona, Alabama, Utah, Indiana and Georgia all have similar laws.

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