A lawsuit declaring South Carolina's new immigration law unconstitutional is now in the hands of a federal.
Judge Richard Gergle announced Monday in a hearing in Charleston that he will hand down his ruling by the end of the year. The new law is supposed to go into effect January 1.
The American Civil Liberties Union is one of several civil rights groups listed as a plaintiff on the law suit.
"The fundamental concern is the same with all of these laws in Arizona and Alabama and Georgia is they inject immigration into every law enforcement encounter," said ACLU Immigration rights Attorney Andre Segura.
Attorneys for the ACLU said several of the provisions written in the immigration law are unconstitutional, like requiring illegal aliens to register and carry documentation with their legal status.
Other plaintiffs on the lawsuit said letting this kind of law go into effect will create a state of segregation targeted at the Latino community.
"This kind of fear draws people away from society. They bring them further back into the shadows and we have a concern this will bring a culture of segregation," said plaintiff Rich Robinson, Advocacy Director of Nuevos Caminos.
A spokesperson for the state Attorney General's office said this is an ongoing case that promises to stretch into next year when the U.S. Supreme court makes its decision on Arizona's immigration law.