Lowcountry Immigration Coalition, et al. v. Nikki Haley, et al.
South Carolina passed an extreme anti-immigrant law in 2011.
The law required police to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops when they have “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an undocumented immigrant. It also criminalized everyday interactions with undocumented immigrants, such as providing transportation or renting a room to an undocumented immigrant.
The SPLC joined a coalition of civil rights groups in filing a federal class action lawsuit challenging the law as an unconstitutional measure that encourages racial profiling. It charges that the law, SB 20, subjects South Carolinians – including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents – to unlawful search and seizure and interferes with the federal government’s authority over immigration matters.
South Carolina’s law was inspired by an anti-immigrant law passed by Arizona in 2010. Alabama and Georgia also passed similar anti-immigrant laws in 2011, which were challenged by the SPLC.
The coalition that filed the lawsuit also included the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of South Carolina, the National Immigration Law Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the law firms of Rosen, Rosen & Hagood and the Lloyd Law Firm.