The Justice Department filed suit on Monday to block South Carolina's immigration law, saying that the law interfered with the federal government's supremacy on the issue of immigration.
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South Carolina's statute, enacted on June 27, criminalizes the presence of an illegal immigrant in the state. DOJ's complaint says that the Constitution and federal law "do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country." South Carolina's law, DOJ officials claimed, "clearly conflicts with the policies and priorities adopted by the federal government and therefore cannot stand."
"Pushing undocumented immigrants out of one state to another is simply not a solution to our immigration problems," DOJ Assistant Attorney General Tony West said in a press call on Monday. "We believe South Carolina's law... crosses the constitutional line."
West mentioned that DOJ has had discussions with the Attorney Generals of Utah, Georgia and Indiana about their immigration laws.
"The United States will decide whether and when the bring lawsuits challenging particular state laws," West said.