South Carolina Looks for a Government Handout to Fund AZ Style Immigration Reform

South Carolina Looks for a Government Handout to Fund AZ Immigration Reform

Leave it to small government conservatives to look towards passing an immigration bill that they can’t afford, which is exactly what Republicans in state of South Carolina are trying to do. South Carolina wants to get tough on immigration but the state can’t afford the bill without federal dollars, small government indeed.

South Carolina debates AZ -like immigration law
South Carolina debates AZ -like immigration law

Just weeks after Arizona introduced the controversial immigration law Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, state representative Eric Bedingfield (R-Greenville) introduced a similar bill in South Carolina that requires law enforcement officials to check individuals’ immigration status. Other states that have indicated they might follow suit are Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and Maryland.

With an eye on political opportunism, Republicans in the state have taken up an Arizona style immigration reform bill for their state. The main sponsor of the bill state Sen. Larry Grooms (R) said, “It would give local law enforcement the ability to arrest someone that they know is here illegally. Right now, they’re handcuffed. They can’t do that unless they have passed some sort of federal government certification.”

Now before you think that this is just the standard right wing red state pandering consider that the state just passed a tough immigration reform law, which they are still phasing in, that they can’t afford to pay for. As a recent piece in the Charleston, SC Post and Courier on the 2008 reform pointed out,

“But here’s the rub: Who’s to pay for training local law enforcement officials to function as deputy customs officials as federal law requires? Even more daunting is the stipulation that any local facilities in which the illegal aliens are housed must meet federal requirements. To date, there are only two county jails, one in York and the other in Charleston, that have been so certified. Further, federal money has dried up and local and state budgets are strapped.”

Even federal funds have dried up due to the bad economy, “Even federal funds to qualify local law enforcement officials to access federal data banks and handle illegal aliens have dried up. York County’s sheriff got involved in the federal program in 2007. Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon says his department was one of only 11 in the country to get federal training funds last year. Some six Charleston County detention officers are now qualified as deputy customs officials.”

Later the question was asked, “So short of a change in federal immigration laws or a funding windfall that would provide more federally compliant prisons in this state or train more deputy customs officials, is there more South Carolina lawmakers can do?”

Things heated up in a debate Thursday during a South Carolina Senate hearing on the new proposed bill when State police argued that they have enough on their plates and do not have the money or the resources to comply with the mandate of South Carolina’s existing immigration law. State Law Enforcement Division Chief Reggie Lloyd argued, “If everybody wants us to go chase illegal immigrants, we’re glad to do that. If you tell us to take a hill, we will do that. But we don’t have the resources and the ability to do what everybody’s asked us to do today.”

But that was nothing compared to what happened after the Senate hearing:


The Canadian Business Market reported on the scene: “Two Hispanic women confronted Sen. Larry Grooms after the meeting, asking him if he could tell which one was in the country illegally. He responded by doubting either was, sparking a back-and-forth argument before a TV camera.

“My job is to protect the citizens of this state … not to provide economic liberties for people in other countries,” Grooms, R-Bonneau, shouted back…The debate got more heated after Roan Garcia-Quintana, a Cuban American who advocates anti-illegal immigration bills, said the women should go back where they came from if they don’t like it here. Neither of the women is an illegal immigrant. One of the protesters, Ilia Rivera, of Greenville, shouted she’s Puerto Rican and an Army veteran. Then she stalked off.

“Someone will stop me. I’m very sure they’re going to,” Rivera said about the bill. “I’m Puerto Rican and look like I’m Latino.””

Instead of acknowledging that they don’t have the resources to enact the current law, Republicans are disingenuously presenting the situation as if the current law is not tough enough. Their current law, which is based on employers documenting workers (like the bi-partisan immigration reform legislation proposed under Bush) was working, but it was being phased in slowly since its passage in 2008 and funds dried up after the Bush crash.

In short, this Red State where Republicans like Sen. Jim DeMint rail against big government and socialism and Republican Governor Sanford made a big show of pretending he didn’t want the stimulus money (even though his constituents begged him to take it) is going to require a federal government hand out in order to be able to enforce their own immigration laws.

South Carolina is a hotbed of hypocrisy.The state’s own Joe Wilson called Barack Obama a liar, but the President isn’t a dead beat hypocrite who is looking for some socialism so he can enact a racist immigration policy all the while touting his “small government” and “no welfare” platform of lies.

h/t Jason Easley

16 Replies to “South Carolina Looks for a Government Handout to Fund AZ Style Immigration Reform”

  1. You said it all here: “South Carolina is a hotbed of hypocrisy.”
    More Right-wing, racist BS from the most bass-ackwards state in the Union. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful state with some wonderful people, but its conservative politics are stuck in the 1800s (Slave Era, in case that got by you).

  2. @Geo,

    Well said — it’s a beautiful state, but the politics are obscene. I’ll never forget Sanford’s starving constituents begging him to take the stimulus money (they needed money/jobs desperately in SC) while he lectured them about God and said God would provide if they were worthy, basically.

    Then we found out about his Argentinian Trail (and wife swapping at C Street)…I can’t help but wonder what God thinks of a man who ignores the hunger of his people while indulging in sexual exploits, unavailable to the legislature, unaccountable to the state.

  3. Ok i am confused I understand AZ law it is an over reaction however, they are a boarder state, so I understand their over reaction don’t agree with it but understand it. SC boarders NC and Georgia are they afraid of Georgias sneeking across the state boarder line and what?

  4. @Oldsun,

    They actually have a high number of illegal immigrants (who come up from Florida). They also have a lot of Cuban Americans who are legal citizens who are not happy about this.

  5. @Oldsun, when I lived in Michigan there were a large number of illegals up there. One of the reasons I an so incredibly against illegal immigration is that a large number of my friends in the carpenters union were not working. (I used to be a carpenter)

    But hispanics were

    Even here near Knoxville there were large numbers of them, but they seem to be moving out. And its not from the cops hassling them cause they can get away with moider here. In the midst of republican country no less.

  6. @Shiva,

    Now you’ve hit on the real problem, which is why I believe having employers document workers is more effective than this draconian Brewer AZ law — employers and businesses WANT to keep illegals here for cheap labor.

    If they weren’t working, many of them would not be here in the first place.

    The gangs, etc, are a completely separate issue — but this goes back to police forces being funded adequately to deal with these things.

  7. How many of you objectors have even read the AZ Bill that passed and was modified. It basically states the SAME things that the Federal law states only AZ wants to enforce the law which the Feds don’t want to do. It is time for all states to enforce the laws regarding illegal immigration and send the illegals back to Mexico.

    Better yet, let the US adopt the Mexican immigration laws. I think that would be fair enough. The Mexican President objects to our laws so lets adopt his —- and see how many of these illegal wetbacks stay here in the US.

  8. Leave it to mullet head R.G.Quintana to act like some idiot as usual. His rowdy, aggressive actions at the Capitol are typical for him. He is nothing but a loud mouth bully. One of these days someone is going to get him by that rat tail of a hairdo and put him down in the gutter where he belongs.

  9. @Sarah Jones, Well, I think this. According to the series on the History channel about gangs, the majority of them are latino, and well heeled within our prison systems as well.

    And now, if you try to deal with them, they will cry foul and profiling. I got a bad feeling about handcuffing the cops hands. These gangs are well armed and have a large amount of money as well.

    But I retain the right to disagree. They would still come in hopes of amnesty. Jobs or no jobs. Use of our hospitals and social services they may not get in their own country’s

    Perhaps the threat of being sent back will stop them. It seems to be working now as Obama says the number coming in is going down.

  10. @scribbler,

    No, it doesn’t.

    The AZ law is quite clearly different from the federal law, as has been proven over and over again on this very website.

    Did you not read the article? The state doesn’t have the money or resources to do this. That is just ONE of the problems with the AZ law and why the police are not even backing it. And yet, “conservatives” (extremism is not really conservatism, hence the quotes) seem to overlook the budget issue once again. Is this a hold-over from their Bush years? I thought conservatives were supposed to be fiscally conservative. Where do you suggest they get the money? From the feds? Or perhaps they should borrow from China a wee bit more, eh?

    First you justify a draconian law which violates citizens rights and then you throw out the Fox talking point/Sarah Palin attack that no one has read the law. That is rich coming from anyone who watches Fox news and let me finish by suggesting that when y’all find a few candidates for POTUS who can read, who don’t quit their jobs, who pay their taxes, and who have actually read the constitution, come on back here and engage in debate.

    Save the accusations that no one here has read the law for Freeperland.

    That’s so juvenile and I suspect an epic projection.

  11. @Sarah Jones,
    What a bunch of crap. :”starving constituents” Where are all these “starving constituents” now that SC took the money and spent it without any idea of where additional funds would come from in the future. Where are all the jobs promised by taking the stimulus money? Where is the stimulus money now that SC is having to furlough/lay off teachers and school staffs among many others? SC should have used the money to pay its bills down and adjust the budget to fit current day problems. Without the jobs there are no taxes coming into the treasury and the stimulus money simply was a temporary fix and not much of that (courtesy of the existing SC legislature)

  12. @scribbler, The mexican government dropped the prison sentences for American illegals in his country over a year ago. However I am sure his corrupt judicial system didnt get the memo.

    I am sure that if our immigration laws were enforced as they are, the latinos will still scream foul no matter how you look at it.

  13. @freeman,

    The first line of your response defines your entire post.
    Your boy Sanford shifted the burden of funding education from property taxes to sales taxes, just in time for the largest economic downturn since the 1930’s, and then had the audacity to wag his finger at the administration… He knew full well that the enormous hole that he and his conservative knuckle dragging buddies put in the budget could only have been filled by federal money. All of that “debt pay down” crap was just positioning for a run at the presidency or vice-presidency. After his shining moment of Argentinian hubris, those plans sorta went by the wayside.
    Have you stopped to consider how many layoffs and furloughs were averted by taking the stimulus? A ton, in my local school district… they have since adjusted their budgets and are much better suited the the lean times ahead.
    I manage a rural health clinic in the northeastern part of the state. I see “starving constituents” every day. I guess they probably don’t count in your view, because they are poor.

  14. just to keep up on this, the Tennessee legislature yesterday passed a bill commending Arizona on its tough new stance on illegal immigration.

    I’m not saying that’s right or wrong but I’m saying there’s a lot of people in this country that agree with it, and they’re also more and more state legislatures who are looking at it.

    I’m not saying I necessarily agree with the Bill, but I do think more and more people are taking a solid stance against illegal immigration. Which of course will cause more and more conflict as it’s probably designed to do.

Comments are closed.