Updated: Tuesday, 08 Nov 2011, 4:45 PM MST
Published : Tuesday, 08 Nov 2011, 4:45 PM MST
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - 16 Latin American and Caribbean nations have asked to join in the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit against South Carolina's new illegal immigration law, citing concerns for their citizens.
Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Ecuador and Chile and other countries filed papers Tuesday, asking to join the Justice Department's litigation in Charleston.
The law would require law officers who make a traffic stop to call federal immigration officials if they suspect someone is in the country illegally. Opponents say the measure would encourage racial profiling.
The 16 nations state in their filings that the law would lead to state-sanctioned discrimination against their citizens.
Justice Department lawyers are asking the court to stop the law from taking effect in January, saying immigration policy is solely the domain of the U.S. government.