SC Appleseed works to safeguard all immigrants’ rights, collaborating with state agencies to ensure that no unnecessary hurdles prevent immigrants from realizing the protections afforded by our laws. We also provide education and advocacy to our state’s legislative delegations on immigrants’ rights and the need for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.
SC Appleseed gives special attention to the plight of immigrant children, who in many cases are here through no decision or effort of their own, but under current law have no path to citizenship and its benefits. These efforts include advocating for policy improvements through the Children’s Justice Act Task Force, a committee of the Children’s Law Center at USC School of Law, and providing training to the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program.
DACA Renewal Assistance: Brought to the United States as babies and young children, the young immigrants (“Dreamers”) we work with are passionate, hard working, and hopeful for a bright future in the only country they’ve ever really called home. In 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program provided these Dreamers with a temporary legal status and a work permit until a permanent solution is approved by Congress. Today, more than 4,000 young noncitizens in South Carolina are now driving, working and going to school, because of DACA. And we see them not only benefiting financially, but integrating more fully into and working to improve the communities where they live. Learn more about work to assist young people and their families with DACA.
Immigrants Rights Trainings: We’ve created and facilitate training programs on immigrants’ rights which have been offered to English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and immigrant students, through the Department of Education, and to social workers handling cases of abuse, through the Department of Social Services. We also work directly with immigrant communities in every corner of South Carolina to help them understand their rights and the opportunities they have in our communities, empowering Dreamers and their families to get involved in our efforts to better South Carolina, and assisting them with navigating an ever changing immigration system.
Major Immigration Wins:
2014: Nearly two and half years after filing the class action lawsuit Low Country Immigration Coalition v. Haley in response to SB20/Act69 (i.e. South Carolina’s “papers please” law), an agreement was reached and adopted that provides a step forward for our state and for communities across the nation. Read more about this settlement on our blog.
2011: SC Appleseed joined a broad coalition of state and national public interest organizations to sue the State of South Carolina and enjoin the enforcement of South Carolina’s anti-immigrant Arizona copycat law (SB20/Act69).
2008: SC Appleseed successfully advocated for exceptions in the anti-harboring provision of a state immigration law that would have made it a felony for humanitarian organizations to provide assistance to an undocumented immigrant. Had these exceptions not been included, staff at domestic violence shelters, food banks, hospitals, clinics or churches could have been jailed simply for doing charitable work.
2007: SC Appleseed collaborated with the Department of Education to stop the illegal practice in some school districts of demanding a child’s social security number before enrolling the student.