A bill which is designed to crack down on illegal immigration in South Carolina advanced in the Statehouse Tuesday. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13 to 6 on Tuesday to send the measure to the full Senate.
Officers would be able to check the immigration status of a person they suspect is in the country illegally, but they would only be allowed to question their legality following a stop for another reason. Any question of legality would be satisfied if the person could produce a valid driver’s license, passport or military ID.
The proposal resembles a measure passed in Arizona last year that was followed by an eruption of lawsuits and protests. The difference in South Carolina’s bill is that local law enforcement would be directed to contact Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If ICE agents don’t respond to the call, the suspect will not be held.
Opponents call the bill discriminatory.