Governor Sanford Thanks House for Strong Immigration Bill
GOVERNOR SAYS HOUSE'S BILL TAKES AWAY
WORKER VERIFICATION LOOPHOLE
Governor Mark Sanford today issued the following statement on the House's immigration reform plan, which requires employers to check workers' legal status using e-verify as the only alternative to an S.C. driver's license:
"I'd give real credit to Speaker Harrell, Chairman Harrison, the House conferees, and everyone in the House who supported this bill for the way it provides for a real and meaningful employment verification process," Gov. Sanford said. "Offering an alternative to e-verify like a state version of the I-9 simply guarantees that e-verify won't be used, and to that end we're very pleased that the House kept their commitment to passing a bill that takes the issue of employment verification seriously.
"We hope the House will hold firm to that belief until this bill reaches my desk, because the final version of this law is ultimately what matters to our state."
The House included an e-verify requirement in their bill, a critical component of the legislation that would require private employers to check a valid South Carolina driver's license or use the online e-verify system to validate legal status. Five states already use e-verify in some capacity: Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri, and neighboring Georgia. In fact, Arizona has reported that illegal immigrants are starting to self-deport due to the effectiveness of the e-verify system.
Instead, the Senate bill now includes a provision for "SC Verify," which is essentially the same as the failed Federal I-9 form verification process. The I-9 process is an ineffective system already employed by the federal government in which fraudulent documents can be used to satisfy the verification requirements, and in which federal law prohibits employers or states from checking the validity of the documents.