New South Carolina Illegal Immigration Law Ushers in Big Changes


South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley recently signed into law a bill that mandates that all businesses verify a new employee’s work status, within three (3) days of hire, using the E-verify federal work authorization program.

Under the new bill, which amends S.C. Code § 41-8-20, employers will no longer be permitted to use state drivers’ licenses or other documents to verify a new employee’s work status. Instead, all businesses will be required to use the E-verify system. Penalties for knowingly employing illegal immigrants include suspension and revocation of a South Carolina business license.

In addition, law enforcement officers will be required to call federal immigration officials if they suspect that someone is in the country illegally. This power is limited, however, as questions concerning an individual’s immigration status must follow an arrest or traffic stop, and officers are barred from holding someone solely on suspicion of illegal immigration status.

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