"The federal government won't or can't enforce immigration laws, so South Carolina has been forced to take matters into their own hands to protect their citizens," Poe said. "We've heard this tale before, about the federal government suing states like Arizona and Alabama."

Poe also dismissed the administration's argument that South Carolina's law would interfere with and undermine the federal government's control over relations with foreign governments.

"The federal government is more concerned about not hurting the feelings of other countries like Mexico than it is protecting our country," he said. "The Attorney General has made it clear that he will continue his crusade against the states who try to crack down on illegal entry."


Poe predicted that Utah and Georgia would be next on the administration's list, two states that are also trying to establish their own immigration laws.

The South Carolina law requires law enforcement officials to notify federal officials when someone is suspected of being in the country illegally; a similar law in Arizona led to a federal law suit against that state. South Carolina's law also makes it illegal for non-citizens to be in the U.S. without a visa.

The House adjourned shortly after Poe's remarks, and will return at 4:45 p.m. to take up three suspension bills.