53
      Friday
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      89 / 64

      State leaders pushing tough immigration reform

      Summerville Councilman Walter Bailey has proposed an ordinance requiring most employers to check the immigration status of workers.

      SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- In a small South Carolina town hundreds of miles from Arizona, another skirmish over illegal immigration is brewing.

      Summerville Councilman Walter Bailey has proposed an ordinance requiring most employers to check the immigration status of workers. It would also require those who rent homes or apartments in town to prove they are citizens or in the country legally.

      Bailey says the ordinance was sparked in part by the Obama administration's challenge to the new Arizona immigration law -- much of which was blocked by a judge on Wednesday.

      Members of the Hispanic community in Summerville say that immigration is a federal, not local, issue.

      "We have all these citizens and legal residents who are being effected by immigration laws and many people who will not be considered for a job because they think they may be illegal" says Ivan Seguar.

      A town attorney is reviewing the ordinance before it goes before council.

      In a release on Wednesday state Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell said that he would continue to push for an Arizona style immigration reform in South Carolina.

      "Like Arizona's legislators, we are tired of Washington's failure to act. We can't rely on the federal government anymore. That's why states are being forced to do whatever they can to fight illegal immigration. The federal government fiddles while Rome burns and then sues states who try to throw water on the flames," Senator McConnell said.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report).

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