South Carolina now has its own brand of immigration reform, and if you think getting a bill signed into law was complicated and difficult, watch what happens when state and local officials start trying to enforce it. ...
It goes without saying that enforcement is the key. That's been the problem with federal immigration law. But state agencies will have a little time to get ready. Private employers of 100 or more people have until July 1, 2009, to meet the new law's requirements. Employers of fewer than 100 people have until July 1, 2010. Government contractors face earlier deadlines. ...
On the day Gov. Mark Sanford signed the bill into law, a federal judge in Oklahoma blocked enforcement of the employer-related provisions of that state's law. The judge ruled that those sections requiring employers to use the federal verification program likely were unconstitutional because they interfere with federal rules regarding the hiring of unauthorized workers.
The ruling shows again that we ultimately need a federal solution.
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Every year in June there occurs a predictably heated public discussion about the Harley-Davidson and Atlantic Beach Bikefest motorcycle rallies of the previous month. Those who detest the noise, traffic congestion, accidents and unseemly behavior that participants in both rallies inflict on our communities demand that local authorities bring them to an end. Those who participate in, enjoy and benefit from the rallies defiantly assert that they're not as bad as opponents make them out to be -- that with a bit of tweaking, both motorcycle events could exert less stress on residents' nerves and on our communities' public-safety resources. ...
The issue is not whether one rally is harder to bear than the other. Taken together -- as they must be -- they both degrade what should be the most enjoyable month of the year on the Grand Strand, while leaching the spirit out of Mother's Day and Memorial Day. In both social and fiscal terms, our communities can no longer afford them. ...
We did not endorse Lindsey Graham when he ran for the seat being vacated by Strom Thurmond six years ago. But after he won, we found ourselves represented by one of the brightest, hardest-working members of the U.S. Senate.
He quickly became an erudite agent of reason and sound policy, taking courageous stands that made him a leader in the Senate.
When his own Republican Party was ready to bring all Senate business to a frozen halt in the face of Democratic obstructionism over judges, he became one of the bipartisan "gang of 14" that refused to play that game. As a result, conservative judges were duly considered and approved.
As a colonel in the Air Force Reserves, Sen. Graham is the only member of the Senate currently serving in the military. No one has been a more steadfast supporter of our nation's battles in Afghanistan and Iraq -- or the once-controversial "surge" strategy of Gen. David Petraeus -- with the possible exception of Sen. Graham's close friend and ally, John McCain.
Sens. McCain and Graham also took leading roles in trying to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill last year, and ran into a buzzsaw of opposition from those in their own party who would rather have no solution to illegal immigration than one that treated those already in the country in a fair and logical manner. ...
On the Republican side, there is no contest. Sen. Graham has clearly earned his party's renomination.
On the Net: www.thestate.com/opinion