Back in March we came out against the S.C. legislature's attempt to crack down on illegal immigration through police officers, when the effort was in the Senate. It passed shortly afterward. On Tuesday, the House passed the same bill with a few changes. The two versions much now be reconciled before heading to the governor's desk.
Voting for the bill yesterday were most of the Grand Strand's delegation, including Alan Clemmons, Tracy Edge, Nelson Hardwick, George Hearn and Thad Viers. Liston Barfield was present, but did not vote.
Bill opponents called it racial profiling and offered a number of amendments to attempt to derail it or perhaps just ridicule it, including this tongue-in-cheek proposal by Rep. Bakari Sellers that was shot down: "The State Budget and Control Board is directed to erect a fence no shorter than fifteen feet in height around the perimeter of the State of South Carolina with openings along all major interstates and thoroughfares."
The concerns we had in March are the same concerns we have now, mostly the added burden it places on police. David Latimer, executive director of the S.C. Troopers Association, summed it up well in March:
“Obviously, we don’t want our troopers tied up for hours and hours trying to adjudicate an immigrant when we have crashes or other calls for our service,” he said. “That’s not to take away from our immigration problem, but I don’t want to overburden our troopers.”