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Civil Rights Groups Challenge South Carolina Immigration Law

Posted Oct 12, 2011 3:04 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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Six civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit against South Carolina today, seeking to block a recently passed law that calls for law enforcement agents to check the immigration status of individuals they detain.

According to the plaintiffs, which include the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center, the law invites racial profiling and interferes with federal law, theThe State reports. The law, which is scheduled to go into effect in January 2012, creates a statewide immigration enforcement group managed by the South Carolina department of public safety.

Similar laws have been passed in other states, including Alabama. Last week, a U.S. district court judge upheld portions of the Alabama legislation. The Justice Department asked the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay barring enforcement of the law until its constitutionality can be determined.

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