The United States Department of Justice filed suit Monday in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina seeking to enjoin and have declared invalid the state’s recently adopted immigration law. The measure (S.B. 20) was signed into law in June by Governor Nikki Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, and was set to go into effect on January 1, 2012.
According to the complaint filed by the Justice Department, if enforced, the South Carolina law would unlawfully conflict with federal immigration statutes and would contribute to a patchwork of state and local laws many of which would contradict currently operative federal immigration policies and principles.
Specifically, the filing claims:
In our constitutional system, the federal government has preeminent authority to regulate immigration matters and to conduct foreign relations. This authority derives from the Constitution and numerous acts of Congress.
Governor Haley’s office doesn’t expressly disagree with the DOJ’s version of the grant of constitutional authority over immigration, rather it is the federal government’s lack of effective exercise of that power that prompted passage of the strict immigration law.
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