Last June Governor Haley convinced House and Senate Republicans that the new immigration law they wanted to pass just had to have a mandatory E-Verify provision because of a recent Supreme Court decision. According to the Governor’s interpretation of that decision, only the federal E-Verify data base could be used to determine a person’s citizenship status. Since the immigration bill would prohibit South Carolina businesses from hiring undocumented workers, E-Verify then must be performed on every new hire in the state. That provision was put into the bill that passed.
In the debate on the bill we were told that every business in South Carolina would be required to use E-Verify. No exceptions. Our efforts to exclude our state’s smallest businesses were said to be unconstitutional. ALL BUSINESSES MUST USE E-VERIFY OR FACE THE POSSIBILITY OF LOSING THEIR BUSINESS LICENSES.
All of this was untrue.
I first learned of the intentional loopholes in the new law back in December. Since then I’ve tried to find legislators willing to support new legislation that would either exempt small businesses with less than 25 employees from the E-Verify mandate or to put the burden on the Department of Motor Vehicles to do the E-Verify and put the results on drivers licenses or other official state ID. We even had legislation drafted. I couldn’t find any takers.
Now the media has picked up on the story starting with a front-page piece in The State this past Sunday, followed by some national Hispanic press and then today’s story in the Free Times.
A new data-based report came out this week ranking South Carolina among the worst states on transparency, accountability and anti-corruption. Read the news stories on this E-Verify deception and you decide if the new report is accurate.