A loophole in the S.C. immigration law exempts farmworkers and private maids and nannies from a mandatory immigration status check.
The law, which went into effect Jan. 1, requires all private employers in South Carolina to use the federal E-Verify database to check newly hired employees’ immigration status. However, a little-known loophole provides exceptions for four categories of workers — agriculture laborers, domestic workers in a private residence, ministers and fishermen working on crews of 10 or fewer people.
The agriculture industry and the legislators who supported the exemption said it was necessary because migrant farmworkers would be difficult to check, and no one wanted South Carolina to encounter a shortage of workers to pick peaches, strawberries and watermelons, as Georgia and Alabama recently did.
Critics are up in arms, saying it was done "secretly." I was about to make fun of any advocate who didn't read the entire bill and understand it before it was signed into law, but then took a look at what I think is the text of the correct law. I can't find the provisions. They have to be tucked in there somewhere (there are a ton of links in the document).
Regardless, this is the worst kind of hypocrisy. Maids and nannies? That simply means the wealthy people of South Carolina want continued access to illegal labor to which they can pay low wages with cash.
Supporters of the law and other similar examples across the country claim it will make undocumented immigrants leave the state, thus opening up jobs for U.S. citizens. This loophole, however, demonstrates that they don't believe that to be true. If U.S. citizens will fill these jobs, then why do you need the provision?
This is even worse than Arizona's SB 1070, which at least has a logical consistency. Instead, this law says that South Carolina recognizes how much immigrants contribute to the state's economy, but it wants to make their lives more difficult anyway.