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Over 300 South Carolina businesses cited for immigration violations

More than 300 South Carolina businesses were cited during the first year tougher employee immigration checks were mandated by state law. According to a recent report, a total of 323 businesses were cited for violating a state law that requires all businesses in South Carolina to run the names and social security numbers of newly hired workers through the federal E-Verify system.

The law was approved by South Carolina's General Assembly in 2011 and went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. However, the state did not begin strictly enforcing the law until July 1 of last year.

A spokeswoman for the S.C Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, which oversees the immigrant worker compliance program that was put into place by the law, said that none of the businesses that were cited lost licenses to operate in the state.

At this point, it appears that the vast majority of businesses in the state are complying with the law as there were more than 4,000 businesses audited and only 323 were cited for violations. This represents a rate of about 10 percent non-compliance.

The LLR spokeswoman said it appears that South Carolina business owners understand how the law works and what's expected of them under the law. She said there are still some South Carolina employers who are having trouble understanding the law, but that number is on the decline.

If you own a business and want to find out more about your rights and obligations under state and federal immigration laws, talk to an experienced immigration attorney in your area. Knowing the law is essential to the growth and success of your business.

Source: The State, "SC cites more than 300 businesses for violating immigrant worker law," Noelle Phillips, March 24, 2013

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