Immigration Bill Could Mean Big Changes For SC Business - DatelineCarolina

Immigration Bill Could Mean Big Changes For SC Business

Workers at Coosaw Farms in Fairfax, SC, plant Cabbages. Workers at Coosaw Farms in Fairfax, SC, plant Cabbages.

     An immigration bill currently before the South Carolina legislature would require every business in the state to check all new employee's immigration status. The South Carolina  Chamber of Commerce and the Farm Bureau are opposing the law after an amendment was added extending it to private businesses, saying it puts an unfair burden on employers.

     Businesses would be required to check all of their employees one of three ways: through E-verify, a database set up by the Department of Homeland Security, through I-9 Employment Eligibility Forms, or by having a valid SC driver's liscense.

     Many businesses are worried the new E-verify system sometimes gives incorrect results.  Sen. Jim Ritchie of Spartanburg, th author of the bill, says it is the best system available, and  no business will be held accountable for incorrect information given by E-verify.

     The bill was passed through the South Carolina Senate 39-0 and must pass through the House before going to be signed by the governor.

     The law would require businesses with five hundred or more employees to comply by July, 1 2008, businesses with 100-499 employees by July, 1 2009, and all business by July, 1 2010.

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