Friday, April 08, 2011

Immigration debate in SC

To get a sense of how incoherent state-level efforts can be with regard to immigration, consider South Carolina. The Senate wanted to create a parapolice force, the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit, the legality of which has to be questionable.  How much would this cost?  Well, no one even bothered to guess.

Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens who led the effort to push the immigration bill through the Senate, said Thursday he did not know how the state would pay for the unit. He also did not know how much the fee would have raised.

The fee in question is one that would have taxed wire transfers, obviously aimed at immigrants. The problem is that this punishes the South Carolinian businesses who do the transfers, and they were unhappy enough to get the fee scrapped.

So where to get the money?

S.C. Rep. James Harrison, R-Richland, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he did not think the fee was an appropriate way to pay for the immigration enforcement unit. He suggested money come from the state general fund.
Harrison challenged the Senate to find the money.
“If this bill passes through the House, the Senate still has the budget,” Harrison said. “If they want to fund it, they can put it in the budget.”

But when you're dipping into the general fund for a parapolice force of unknown cost, remember that South Carolina has a $877 million budget deficit.


Defensores de Democracia 6:24 PM  

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ( in San Francisco ) stops Arizona's SB 1070 once again. This court backs the injunction imposed by a federal judge in Phoenix - This is a Prohibition for SB 1070 to take effect in full form

Arizona's Controversial Legislation is stopped once again of going into full effect.

Huffington Post
Arizona Immigration Law Ruling Refuses To Lift Ban On Enforcing Major Aspects Of Measure
April 11, 2011

Some excerpts :

PHOENIX -- A federal appeals court on Monday refused to lift a stay blocking major parts of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect and said the federal government is likely to be able to prove the controversial law is unconstitutional.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned down an appeal filed by Gov. Jan Brewer. She had asked the appeals court to lift an injunction imposed by a federal judge in Phoenix the day before the law was to take effect on July 29, 2010.

The U.S Justice Department sued to block the law, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution because enforcing immigration law is a federal issue.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction preventing four major parts of the law from going into effect pending a trial. Monday's ruling by the three-judge panel upheld that injunction.

The appeals court said the government is likely to succeed in its arguments that Congress has given the federal government sole authority to enforce immigration laws, and that the Arizona law violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

Parts of the law blocked from taking effect while the case works its way through the courts include a provision requiring police to question people's immigration status while enforcing other laws if there is a reasonable suspicion they're in the country illegally. Other provisions on hold include: requiring all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers; making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job; and allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without a warrant.

In a separate opinion concurring with the panel's ruling, Appeals Court Judge John T. Noonan noted the intent of the state statute is clear and goes beyond what federal law allows.

"If we read Section 1 of the statute, the statute states the purpose of providing a solution to illegal immigration in the United States. So read, the statute is a singular entry into the foreign policy of the United States by a single state," he wrote.

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