This just in from our friend Wesley Donehue on behalf of the SC Senate Republicans:
SENATE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE AND SENATE MAJORITY LEADER ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT ON U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S INJUNCTION AGAINST S.C. IMMIGRATION LAW
MCCONNELL AND PEELER: FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FORCES THE STATES TO ACT ON IMMIGRATION BUT SHOOT THEM DOWN WHEN THEY DO
Columbia, SC – November 2, 2011 – This week, the United States Justice Department challenged South Carolina’s new immigration law, preventing it from going into effect. The Justice Department argues that the new law preempts the federal government’s overview of immigration. Both Senator Glenn McConnell and Senator Harvey Peeler believe that the federal government would be the perfect governing body in the country to initiate immigration policy, but for years it has been failing to act.
Senator McConnell said, “I wish that the federal government was as vigilant in protecting the country’s borders and enforcing our nation’s immigration laws as they are in attacking states like South Carolina that try to step up to the plate and act because the federal government refuses to do so. South Carolina has a duty to protect our citizens and our budgets from the problems caused by unfettered illegal immigration and I believe that we have done so in a lawful manner. But if the federal government wants us to quit acting in this area, the solution is simple – do your job.”
“The federal government’s inaction on this issue has forced states across the nation to react to the growing problem of illegal immigration. However, when the states pass laws that address this problem, the federal government rushes in to stop them. It’s time for Washington to stop focusing their energies on those trying to solve the problem and start addressing the real problem of illegal immigration on a national level,” Senator Peeler said.
It has been over half a decade since the United States passed a broad immigration law. Since then, immigration has continued to be a problem for states. In response, states across the nation have enacted immigration laws to help combat this problem in our country. These laws vary, but the federal government has thus far seemed intent on removing key enforcement provisions through federal court cases, rendering the laws ineffective.
Senator McConnell and Senator Peeler have always been strong supporters of legal immigration. They believe illegal immigration cheapens the value for all immigrants who come to the United States through legal means. South Carolina’s immigration law will help provide one more disincentive for those looking to illegally immigrate to the U.S.
“Immigration has been part of our nation’s heritage from the beginning. However, the federal government’s inaction is tarnishing this national tradition. If those in Washington are unwilling to act, they must support states in their efforts to do what is best for their citizens,” Peeler continued.
Sorry, boys, but I’m with the federales on this one.
At one point E.J. invoked our Mass readings from Sunday before last:
“You shall not molest or oppress an alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.
If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me,
I will surely hear their cry…”
Note that it doesn’t say, “… as long as they have the proper documentation.”
Now, before Doug gets on his high horse about legality… Folks, I want immigration laws enforced, too — but I also want just immigration laws that recognize economic realities and that are consistent with our being a nation of immigrants, a nation of people who welcome the stranger.
And the popular pressure for South Carolina to usurp federal powers on this issue arises from a very different impulse.