South Carolina Immigration Laws Set Aside by a Federal Judge

As the nation prepares for a Supreme Court showdown on immigration laws, South Carolina Federal Judge Richard M. Gergel set a precedent by blocking the harshest parts of his state's new laws.

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South Carolina has joined Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, and Georgia on the list of states whose tough immigration laws have been blocked by federal judges. The most notable piece of the state's legislation that Federal District Court Judge Richard M. Gergel's decision has rendered (for now, at least; the cases are expected to land at the Supreme Court) is the part that would require "law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of any suspect they believe might be in the country illegally," to quote The New York Times. "He also blocked provisions that made it a crime to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant." Regardless of the judicial reckoning that's on its way at the Supreme Court, these states are already feeling the sting of the controversial laws. Alabama, for instance, can't find anybody to take the jobs left undone by the immigrants forced out of the state. One of the main reasons: Americans find them too "physically taxing." As for the laws that drove the workers away in the first place, the American Civil Liberty Union has one word: "unconstitutional".

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