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U.S. Asks Judge to Issue Order on South Carolina Immigration Law

The U.S. Justice Department sought an injunction from a federal judge as part of its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the South Carolina’s new immigration law, according to court records.

Set to take effect Jan. 1, the law signed by Governor Nikki Haley in June criminalizes immigrants’ failure to carry certificates of registration and requires police officers who suspect someone is in the U.S. unlawfully to verify their legal status.

The federal government sued the state Oct. 31, saying the measure will impose “significant and counterproductive burdens” on the U.S., which claims to have legal preeminence in setting immigration policy.

While the Justice Department-filed motion is recorded in the court’s electronic docket, copies of the underlying papers weren’t immediately available.

In a Nov. 1 order, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel in Charleston, South Carolina, set a briefing schedule requiring the federal government to file any request for injunctive relief by yesterday and requiring the state to respond by Nov. 22. Oral argument on the issue is set for Dec. 19.

The case is U.S. v. State of South Carolina, 11-cv-02958, U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina (Charleston).

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