S.C.’s New Immigration Unit To Help Track Down Serious Crimes
After the creation and implementation of the immigration law went into effect, the S.C. Immigration Enforcement Unit was formed in 2011. The unit, which is directly below the S.C. Department of Public Safety, is tasked to track down immigrants who are performing illegal activities all over South Carolina. However, the task force does not have the authority to question the residency status of their potential suspects.
The Unit is to be formed by six officers working undercover. It will also have its own insignia and uniforms. The Unit will focus on investigating immigrants involved in drug smuggling, human trafficking and any other crimes. It is not to focus on hunting down illegal immigrants in the state. The unit’s commander, Lt. Eddie C. Johnson, states that it will not try to start having people wary because the Unit is out there to snatch up illegal immigrants.
The Unit was given a $1.3 million budget to begin. Organizers have so far used $440, 723. The Unit estimates that it will be using up at least $689,780 for this year’s budget. The budget is to provide for 12 members of the unit including a commander and an administrative assistant. As six officers round out the first batch, Johnson states that the hiring of four more officers has not yet been finalized.
The large Hispanic community in South Carolina is what concerns some legal authorities and residents. Attorney Tammy Beshearse of the S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center states that the Unit might overstep their bounds on the other communities if they do not have the training to identify an illegal immigrant easily.
Source: The State