2.03.2007

SC's Pitts Says 'States Rights' Allows Discrimination Against Immigrants

Declaring that immigrants cost the state too much money, South Carolina's State Representative Mike Pitts (R) proposes denying them access to hospital care and public schools.
"We have a big problem in this country," he said. "Illegals are taxing the local tax base and eating up the resources."

The proposal is the latest state effort at tackling illegal immigration as reform efforts idle in Congress. Last year, lawmakers introduced roughly 650 bills targeting immigrants, with 32 states enacting 84 immigration laws involving everything from college tuition to driver's licenses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

However, a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling says public schools can't turn undocumented immigrants away, and federal law requires hospitals treat anyone who comes into an emergency room, regardless of whether they can pay.

But Pitts insists on pushing for the law any way because he believes its a matter of "states rights".

Wasn't the 'States Rights' figleaf also used in the era of Jim Crow to enact and enforce discrimmination against African Americans?

Where is today's Bobby Kennedy?