Tighter SC Immigration Rules Await Haley's Signature

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 04:02 PM

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South Carolina lawmakers, saying they were fed up with the inaction of the federal government to take up immigration reform, passed a bill to tighten immigration rules in the state. The state joins about 30 others that have considered anti-illegal immigration laws this year, the Charleston Post and Courier reported Wednesday.

Nikki Haley, Immigration, South Carolina
Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to sign the bill, touted as making "good financial sense" for the state. (Getty Images Photo)
Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to sign the bill, which the House passed Tuesday and the Senate had approved.

The cost to the state was a driving factor in the decision not to wait for Washington, D.C., to act, said Republicans who led the way.

"I think when you look at the problems that we have with illegal immigration, the financial cost that the state has to bear, we need to encourage more legal immigration," said Rep. Chris Murphy, R-Summerville.

The bill makes "good financial sense" for the state, he said.

He cited a 2010 study by the Federation of American Immigration Reform that estimates that illegal immigrants cost the state $391 million a year, primarily in social services.

Under the proposed law, state and local law enforcement officers would be required to check a person’s immigration status during an arrest or routine traffic stops if they that the person may be in the country without permission.



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