Haley: Arizona immigration ruling a victory for SC

Gov. Nikki Haley

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley says if the federal government would have done its job, immigration laws like the one passed in Arizona Monday would not be necessary.

"If the federal government would do its job, the states wouldn't have to - but that hasn't happened," Haley said in a press release Monday.{}"In South Carolina, we passed illegal immigration reform that told the rest of the country we're a tolerant state but also a law-abiding state. That's what this has been about for us - the rule of law - nothing more, nothing less."

Arizona officials declared Monday a victory for the state after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to uphold part of the state's immigration law.{}While throwing out a number of key provisions, the high court left in place the provision that requires police to check the immigration status of suspects stopped for other violations.

Haley said it's a ruling that will also affect immigration policy in South Carolina. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson echoed Haley's support of the ruling and described it also as a victory for South Carolina.

"Today's court ruling is in part good news for South Carolina law enforcement," Haley said. "Now, they can do their job and verify that those suspected of being here illegally are actually here legally. But the ruling also underscores the need for leadership in Washington that finally addresses illegal immigration reform, and we will continue to fight for that kind of leadership."

* The Associated Press contributed to this report.