South Carolina’s House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow law enforcement officials to check an individual’s immigration status during routine traffic stops.
According to The Post and Courier, the chamber passed the measure 69-43 on May 24. The State Senate approved the Arizona-style immigration legislation last March, and Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, is expected to sign it into law.
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that approximately 30 States have considered stricter policies against illegal immigration, most of which center around law enforcement and employment verification. In 2008, South Carolina adopted a law that requires businesses to verify that their staff members are legal citizens.
State Representative Chris Murphy (R-Summerville) said that tougher immigration policies make “good financial sense” for the Palmetto State.
“I think when you look at the problems that we have with illegal immigration, the financial cost that the state has to bear, we need to encourage more legal immigration,” said Murphy, quoted by news source.
Meanwhile, a GOP lawmaker in Wisconsin introduced a bill that mirrors the South Carolina traffic-stop law on May 24, The Associated Press reported. If the legislation is passed, individuals who fail to provide proof of citizenship can be detained for up to 48 hours until they can prove their legal status.