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Another state immigration law goes by the wayside

There have been several states around the country in the last few years that have passed laws with an eye toward identifying undocumented immigrants in situations that aren't directly connected to immigration. Some people say that these sorts of laws border on immigration discrimination, and the trend toward scaling back these laws might indicate that there is some truth to that notion.

Greensboro residents might be familiar with the law in neighboring South Carolina, which permits state and local law enforcement officers to inquire about people's immigration status during the course of a regular traffic stop if officers feel there is a reasonable suspicion that the car's occupants are undocumented. Earlier this week, however, the state announced that the law would no longer be followed.

The state's solicitor general issued an opinion saying that once the traffic stop's original purpose was over -- issuing a warning or a citation, for example -- that the stop should be over at that point. Critics said that the law could have encouraged officers to pull over people just to check on their status, rather than checking their status incidentally to the traffic stop.

Laws in other states have been blocked by lawsuits and court rulings, although some states -- notably, Arizona and Georgia -- still enforce their immigration laws. Discrimination against people because of their perceived immigrant status is not acceptable in North Carolina. Those who have experienced issues such as difficulty enrolling children in school don't have to sit idly by, however. Experienced immigration attorneys can be contacted for advice.

Source: USA Today, "South Carolina puts brakes on immigration law," Alan Gomez, March 3, 2014

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