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Three years after telling voters that they had passed the “toughest immigration law in America,” South Carolina Senators on Thursday morning were back at the drawing board …

By a 28-8 vote, the S.C. Senate approved a so-called “Arizona-style immigration bill” sponsored by Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley). Several key legislative leaders failed to vote on the final passage of the legislation, however, including powerful S.C. Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman and Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee a year ago.

The legislation requires that law enforcement officers must verify the immigration status of individuals they arrest or stop for traffic violations – and to “complete a data collection form” regarding the “age, gender, and race or ethnicity” of each individual.

That data will be managed by a new Immigration Enforcement Division of the S.C. Department of Public Safety (DPS).

What happens after the arrest or traffic stop?

Not much … according to the legislation, persons detained on suspicion of being in the country illegally cannot be held on those grounds, and the only “enforcement” the bill authorizes is for state cops to place a phone call to the U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency.

A phone call?

Nonetheless, in an effort to pay for this so-called “enforcement,” the Senate imposed a new fee on any wire transfer initiated in South Carolina. A $5 charge would be assessed on any wire transfer of less than $500, while a 1 percent fee would be assessed on any transfer larger than $500.

No word yet on how much money this would suck out of the state’s economy …

Sponsored by S.C. Sen. Luke Rankin (RINO-Myrtle Beach), other so-called “Republicans” who voted for this fee included Thomas Alexander, Kevin Bryant, Chip Campsen, Ray Cleary, Jakie Knotts, Shane Martin, Billy O’Dell, Mike Rose and Greg Ryberg.

Shame on all of them …

As far as we can tell, this immigration bill is a complete and total joke – and a costly one at that.