Immigration law in effect while parts of it on hold

By Haley Hernandez | WCBD-TV (Charleston, SC)

Published on January 02, 2012

South Carolina’s new immigration law is now in effect. Although a federal judge put parts of the law on hold in December.

That included some of the most controversial elements like transportation of illegal immigrants and requiring officers to check the immigration status of people they pull over if they suspect they are in the country illegally.

“Thank you for halting it and looking at every detail because it gives us hope and it gives us an opportunity to be able to continue a dialog with thestate of South Carolina as latinos that we are,” said Diana Salazar, LatinoAssociation of Charleston.

Since Arizona’s immigration law, which is what South Carolina’s is compared to, this state has become one of five to pass it’s own immigration law. Governor Haley spokesman, Rob Godfrey said, “If the feds were doing their job, we wouldn’t have had to address illegal immigration reform at the state level. But, until they do, we’re going to keep fighting in South Carolina to be able to enforce our laws.”

What is in effect as of this week, a requirement for businesses to use E-Verify, an online program that allows employers to input information from required I-9 hiring forms and find out a new employee’s legal work status. South Carolina government jobs, including positions at public universities, have been screened with E-Verify since 2009, as have private jobs at companies with more than 100 employees.

With the new law, that requirement extends to all businesses. The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce has previously expressed concern that even that may cause some problems.

“A lot of businesses won’t be able to do it in their business, that means they would have to go find a computer with broadband service in their rural area and hopefully get there at a time somebody knows how to use E-Verify and can do it for them,” said Frank Knapp, president of the SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce said.

Employers who are not registered to use E-Verify will have a grace period until July. After that, businesses that violate the law will get a year probation and have their license revoked for repeat violations.


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