The town of Summerville, about 20 miles out of Charleston, is the first in South Carolina to consider banning illegal immigrants from working or renting in its community. Town council will take up an ordinance written by councilman Walter Bailey.
It works very easily. The easiest way to comply is if you are renting to somebody, you get the driver’s license from South Carolina, or any other state that requires proof of citizenship. You staple a copy of the license to your lease agreement and you preserve that during the term of your lease. As far as employment, it tracks the state employment statute, the immigration employment statute.
Bailey, a former state prosecutor, says he proposed the ordinance, in part, due to the Obama’s administration’s challenge of the new Arizona immigration law.
Summerville has about 45,000 legal residents. Bailey says he will take a risk to make sure those residents are protected. One of those risks- a lawsuit.
The ACLU will probably sue us, they do that all over the country. What they do, they intimidate small towns that don’t have a whole lot of money in their treasury, and big towns who don’t have enough money to provide the suit.
If Summerville is sued, Bailey says they have to play their cards right.
Call their bluff. We’ve got insurance, we’ve got people willing to defend the town that know what they are doing, that do work in the immigration field. The main threat is if we would lose the litigation we would get nailed with a bunch of attorney’s fees, but I’m willing to take that chance.
Summerville Town Council will meet tonight/Wednesday for the first hearing of the ordinance at 7:30.