As many people probably already have heard, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed the controversial immigration bill we have been talking about for weeks into law Monday.
This means that when the bill goes into effect on January 1, police in the state will be required to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest and suspect could be in the country illegally.
The new law will also have an effect on businesses in the state, as employers will be forced to use the federal E-Verify system to run citizenship status checks of all employees and job applicants.
Penalties for employing undocumented immigrants will also get more severe. If businesses are found to have knowingly hired illegal immigrants, they could face their business licenses being suspended or revoked by the state.
Additionally, the law will create the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit to be a section of the state public safety department that serves as a go-between for local police and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The special unit, which will cost $1.3 million to fund, is set up to consist of 12 full-time officers, who will have unique uniforms and vehicle stickers. However, the unit will not be created until after July 1, once the governor has signed off on the new state budget.
Similar laws have also recently been passed in the surrounding states of Georgia and Alabama.
As you can see, it is becoming an increasingly difficult time to be an undocumented immigrant in the United States, especially in the states that have recently adopted strict immigration laws. Now is the time to act and provide the paperwork you need to become documented.
Source: Reuters, "South Carolina governor signs immigration bill into law," 6/27/2011.