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South Carolina Governor Sanford: Immigration Bill Must Contain E-Verify

S.C. Gov. says e-verify requirement taken out of the legislation is single most effective part of immigration reform bill.

by / May 2, 2008

Governor Mark Sanford said the time is now for citizens who care about real immigration reform to make their voices heard about the need for reform.

"By stripping out the e-verify requirement last night, the Senate has taken out the single most effective part of this immigration reform bill," Gov. Sanford said. "For anyone who cares about real immigration reform, the time is now for them to email or call their Senator or House member - or better yet show up in person at the Statehouse on Tuesday to tell their elected leaders face-to-face how they feel."

House leaders have said they're committed to including the 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, including 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. The Senate bill also contains fines that are pre-empted by federal law, and therefore unenforceable.


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