Senate debating anti-illegal immigration bill

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate is continuing debate on a bill that would require law enforcement to ask about suspects’ legal status.

The Senate took up the bill Wednesday afternoon and expects to push the debate late into the night.

Senators for days debated a proposed change by Sen. Jake Knotts of West Columbia that would make it a crime to be an illegal immigrant in South Carolina.

But other Republican senators argued that would conflict with federal law and open up the state to lawsuits.

The measure directs officers to try to check the immigration status of a person they suspect is in the country illegally. The questions must follow a stop or arrest for something else, and the person could not be held on that suspicion.
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