South Carolina’s comprehensive immigration reform bill is dead after a conference committee could not agree to eliminate the use of I-9 forms to verify legal status.
In short, the chambers of commerce killed this bill by claiming that verifying the legal status of employees is difficult, expensive, unreliable, and just downright mean-spirited. Permit me to respond to these claims:
1) South Carolina’s proposed legislation would have required employers to use a state driver’s license or the E-Verify system to run identification checks on potential employees. The first option sounds easy enough. The E-Verify system is a federal, Web-based system that employers can use for free. Checking immigration status takes seconds.
2) As for unreliable, this is an interesting charge given that I-9 forms, which is what the chambers of commerce want to use, are completely unreliable because the federal government does nothing to verify the names and Social Security numbers on these forms. Indeed, the Social Security Administration makes money every time an illegal alien uses someone else’s Social Security number.
3) As for being mean-spirited, what is mean-spirited is the refusal to obey the law because doing so might cut into your profit margins. What is mean-spirited is rewarding law-breakers by not enforcing the law.