Columbia (WACH) - The American Civil Liberties Union criticized South Carolina??s anti-illegal immigration bill Tuesday during stops in Columbia and Charleston.
Governor Haley signed the bill late last year, it requires businesses to verify potential employees' immigration status before hiring them and instructs local police to call federal immigration officials if they suspect someone is in the country illegally.
Critics say the law encourages racial profiling. The US Supreme Court is reviewing a similar law in Arizona, and court??s decision could have ramifications in the Palmetto State.
"A mother and two older sons were deported,?? said Pastor Sandy Jones of Spring of Life Lutheran Church. ??The three younger children were born here in the United States, the oldest boy has epilepsy and can't get the medicine that he needs to treat his condition in Mexico."
Jones says many members of her predominately Hispanic congregation in Northeast Richland County live in fear of deportation.
The ACLU??s mobile rights team stopped at Jones' church Tuesday urging president Obama to sign a federal immigration law, which activists say can be enforced fairly, unlike South Carolina??s law, which is under fire from the federal government. "The fact of the matter is unless the President of the United States is going to engage in a serious conversation about illegal immigration reform, there will be none," said Rep. Tim Scott.
The freshman GOP lawmaker supported immigration reform while he was a member of the South Carolina General Assembly.
"South Carolinians and the South Carolina government must make the best decisions in the interest of the people,?? adds Scott. ??At the end of the day the 14th amendment is probably were we find the major controversy over the immigration legislation whether it??s at the state level of federal level."
"We talk about we are a family, we have our family values, and a family oriented society, but yet we have these laws that are tearing these families apart,?? said Jones.