Following a hearing in the District Court for South Carolina in Charleston, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel has issued an opinion blocking enforcement of portions of South Carolina’s Immigration Reform Act. Judge Gergel issued a temporary injunction blocking the portion of the law which requires state and local law enforcement officials to check suspects’ immigration documents when they believe the suspects are in the country illegally. He also suspended enforcement of the section which makes it a crime to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant.
To date, federal judges have struck down portions of the immigration laws of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, and Utah. South Carolina’s law was modeled on Arizona’s anti-immigration law. The Supreme Court has agreed to review the constitutionality of Arizona’s law this year.