As you may know SC SB 20 is on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature. We’re asking her to veto this legislation. Please reach out to community leaders, businesses, local organizations, etc. and ask them to add their name to this letter. I will add names as you send them to me. Since Governor Haley is expected to sign this bill ASAP, please send names/organizations by close of business Monday, June 27 so that we can get this letter to her quickly.
Thank you all!
To SC Governor Nikki Haley:
On behalf of the South Carolina Immigration Coalition, a coalition of more than [number] diverse local organizations and individuals, we urge you to veto S.B. 20. S.B. 20, which would criminalize any adult—both foreign and U.S.-born—who fails to carry state-issued identification or immigrant registration documents, would be detrimental to South Carolina’s economy and its people. You have stated numerous times that you have an unwavering commitment to the taxpayers’ bottom line, and accordingly, we urge you to veto the bill.
The bill would authorize law enforcement to investigate the immigration status of any person involved in a routine traffic stop. S.B. 20 also requires businesses to implement a mandatory e-verify system, which would be tremendously expensive and ineffective for small businesses in South Carolina.
S.B. 20 is modeled after Arizona’s controversial Senate Bill 1070, which has been the subject of costly ongoing litigation by both civil rights organizations and the U.S. Department of Justice, resulting so far in rulings by a district judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that prevent key parts of it from being implemented. Other states that have passed Arizona- inspired legislation, such as Utah, Indiana and Georgia, are contending with litigation of their own; for example, there is currently a temporary injunction in place in Utah. You can help our state to avoid these legal entanglements and litigation costs by vetoing S. B. 20.
Additionally, this bill would greatly increase the use of racial and ethnic profiling, resulting in the violation of the civil rights of members of any community who look or sound “foreign,” regardless of their individual legal status. By placing additional burdens on police officers to seek out and detain immigrants, S.B. 20 would also divert extensive law enforcement resources away from efforts to reduce criminal activities such as those involving violence, drug trafficking, or larceny – and the fear of profiling would deter immigrants, regardless of their legal status, from cooperating with already-overburdened police officers in the investigation of crimes in their communities.
Finally, S.B. 20 would cause extensive economic damage, particularly in economic sectors that depend heavily on immigrant labor, such as agriculture, construction, the hotel industry, and food services, resulting in labor shortages and higher costs to consumers and businesses alike. After implementing the bill, Georgia has had difficulty finding and sustaining agricultural workers for labor-intensive crops. This same problem could arise in South Carolina, which as you know, relies heavily on its agriculture sector.
For all of the above reasons, the following organizations and individuals oppose S.B. 20 and ask you to veto the bill:
- American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina
- Carolina Peace Resource Center
- Christian Action Council
- Church World Service
- Emily Scales Sutton, West Metro Hispanic Ministry of the United
- Methodist Church
- Father Filemon Juya, the Hispanic Catholic Ministry
- GYCLA Latinos
- The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- Low-country Immigration Coalition
- Mexican American Coalition
- Reading is Power International
- Rev. Brenda Kneece of Belmont Baptist Church
- South Carolina Appleseed
- South Carolina Hispanic/Latino Health Coalition (SCHLHC)
- South Carolina Hispanic Leadership Council
- The South Carolina NAACP
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia
- Council of Circular Congregational Church, United Church of Christ of Charleston, SC