Justice Dept. sues over SC's new immigration law

October 31, 2011 - 5:15 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The federal government is suing South Carolina to put a stop to the state's tough new immigration law.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Monday the government wants a judge to stop enforcement of the legislation. The law requires that officers call federal immigration officials if they suspect someone is in the country illegally following a traffic stop for something else.

Nettles said the law is unconstitutional and violates people's right to due process. He says the lawsuit was filed Monday afternoon.

South Carolina's law takes effect Jan. 1 and is among the toughest in the nation. The U.S. Justice Department is challenging similar laws in Arizona and Alabama.

A spokesman for Attorney General Alan Wilson said the state had not received a copy of the lawsuit.

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