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ACLU Challenges South Carolina's New Anti-Immigrant Law

Molly Lauterback,
Immigrants' Rights Project
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October 13, 2011

The ACLU, along with a coalition of civil rights groups, yesterday filed a lawsuit against the anti-immigrant bill in South Carolina, the fifth state to pass an Arizona-style racial profiling law. Gov. Nikki Hayley’s spokesman responded that she “understands that no American value is more sacred than the rule of law…And if the ACLU was really about what they claim to be, they’d stay out of our business and let us enforce our laws.”

The ACLU believes that “American values” mean keeping families together, providing a safe place for all people, and allowing individuals to work hard and live with dignity. These inalienable rights are cemented for all people within our Constitution, the ultimate ‘rule of law’ in our land, and they are why we fight to make sure that no one’s liberties are taken away.

The damage done by laws like these cannot be overstated. In Alabama, families are fleeing the state for fear that they will be racially profiled, their children targeted and their jobs eliminated. Families are being torn apart as parents move out of the state, leaving their children behind with friends and neighbors. Students are getting pulled out of school, pregnant women are avoiding hospitals, and victims of crime are afraid to go to the police. Farmers in South Carolina looking at Georgia and Alabama and are already worried that their livelihoods will be irrevocably damaged if they cannot hire workers to pick their crops.

The ACLU will continue to fight to uphold the most fundamental American values by protecting the constitutional rights of everyone in the United States.

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