S. 20 (immigration) status

In 2008, The South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act was ratified by the South Carolina General Assembly. The Act requires both public and private employers to verify the work authorization of all new employees, either through the use of the free federal online E-Verify system or by checking the employee’s driver’s license.

The E-Verify online employment verifications system is administered by the Dept. of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration and lets employers know whether information presented by a new employee matches government records.

To verify work authorization using the employee’s driver’s license, the license must be a valid South Carolina license or identification card issued by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, or a valid driver’s license or identification card from a state with driver’s license requirements as strict as South Carolina’s requirements.

Most recently, the South Carolina Senate passed a Bill that would give local law enforcement officers the authority to detain a person while determining whether the person is in the country legally, but, only after the person has been stopped on suspension of another crime. The Bill allows an investigation into the person’s immigration status could only begin if the person failed to present a valid ID.

In addition, the Bill proposes the creation of an Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit within the SC Department of Public Safety to serve as a mediator between local law enforcement and ICE. Other provisions include making it a felony to provide an illegal immigrant with fake identification, and a $5 fee on some wire transfers of money going from South Carolina to locations outside of the United States. The Bill, S. 20, is now in the South Carolina House of Representatives.