South Carolina joins other states in immigration crackdown

CHARLESTON, South Carolina Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:31pm EDT

South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley (C) stands with other Republican governors-elect after meeting with Republican leadership t in the Capitol in Washington December 1, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley (C) stands with other Republican governors-elect after meeting with Republican leadership t in the Capitol in Washington December 1, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - South Carolina lawmakers on Tuesday sent Governor Nikki Haley a bill that requires police to check suspects' immigration status and penalizes businesses that hire workers in the country illegally.

The action follows similar moves by Georgia and Alabama, and a milder measure in North Carolina, as a number of states crack down on illegal immigration.

The governor is expected to sign the bill that will allow the state to revoke the business license of any employer who knowingly employs "unauthorized aliens."

"Today, South Carolina joined a growing number of states who are taking proactive steps to address the problems created by immigrants who not only come into our country illegally, but also violate our laws while here," said House Speaker Bobby Harrell, a Republican.

By a 69-43 vote, the state House of Representatives agreed to Senate amendments that require employers to use the federal E-Verify database to check their employees' residency status.

The measure creates a grace period of one year for employers, during which penalties will be probationary. After that, employers can face temporary suspension of their business license for hiring illegal immigrants and reinstatement fees after those workers have been fired. On third offense, an employer's business license can be revoked.

Democrats argued that it will be impossible for every employer in South Carolina to use E-Verify because not everyone has access to the Internet. They also argued that immigration law falls to the federal government, not the states.

"What happened to business-friendly South Carolina?" said Representative Harry L. Ott Jr., the House minority leader. "Do I have to E-Verify every person who comes and applies for a job? (This is) profiling people on what I perceive that they look like."

The bill also requires police to check the immigration status of any individual they suspect is in the country illegally after they have stopped that person for another reason.

It creates a new Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit within state police to serve as the liaison between local officers and the federal government.

Several states have enacted immigration restrictions, even though the U.S. government considers it to be a federal issue.

North Carolina lawmakers three days ago passed a measure requiring businesses with 25 or more employees to check the citizenship status of job applicants on E-Verify.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)

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Comments (4)
joelwisch2 wrote:
“unauthorized aliens.”
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In English, and in law, alien is the term used to identify people NOT of the country they are in.

“What happened to business-friendly South Carolina?” said Representative Harry L. Ott Jr., the House minority leader. “Do I have to E-Verify every person who comes and applies for a job? (This is) profiling people on what I perceive that they look like.”
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Yes, and if you do it to everyone, it is not profiling. But even if it were, you are opening the job market for youth, and it will be at a living wage where those jobs require more than menial efforts.
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Illegal aliens are a huge problem in a number of old south communities already. They have a lot of money.. a lot of money, and they use it to demand equality when in fact, they are illegally in country. You got the jump on California by a country mile, and you are lucky. Read the links and understand.
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/06/illegal-immigrations-toll-on-states-deficit/

City of Los Angeles welfare

http://www.the-signal.com/news/archive/12489/

Jun 22, 2011 8:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
AmericanPride wrote:
Our federal government has proven over and over again that they are more interested in protecting and supporting illegal aliens than they are in protecting and supporting American citizens and legal residents. We can’t rely on them to enforce our immigration laws. It is up to each and every state to create and implement their own laws to get the job done and stop the plague of illegal immigration. This is precisely why we must not allow the Legal Workforce Act to pass as it is written. Not only would we have to trust the feds to do the job that they have already proven they won’t do but it would take away states rights. That is unacceptable!

Jun 22, 2011 2:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MichaelN wrote:
“They also argued that immigration law falls to the federal government, not the states.”

So I can come into this state, rob a bank and kidnap someone then cross a state line and it will be OK since this is a federal matter and not the states.

Jun 22, 2011 5:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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