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Height of Hypocrisy: South Carolina’s Harsh Anti-immigrant Law Exempts Jobs Often Held by Immigrants

by Mahwish Khan on 03/20/2012 at 10:11am

south carolinaFrom Fox News Latino: An update on South Carolina’s anti-immigrant law.

The legislature carved out a number of exemptions for jobs often filled by undocumented workers. This is a classic example of hypocrisy. They bash immigrants, even as they are acknowledging that they really need them:

Immigration laws fuel fear in many immigrant communities, but in South Carolina, some undocumented immigrants have no need to worry about the state’s tough new law.

The law, which seeks to crack down undocumented workers by requiring employers to verify their immigration status through a federal database, does not apply to farm workers, housekeepers and nannies.

The law went into effect January 1 and requires all private employers in South Carolina to use the federal E-Verify database to check newly hired employees’ immigration status.

Bill supporter Sen. Chip Campsen says the loophole was necessary to get the legislation passed. The Charleston Republican says he opposed the exemption but said it doesn’t make the bill ineffective.

So there you have it. But even though South Carolina legislators like to talk tough when it comes to undocumented immigrants, at least some of them grasp the key role those workers play in their economy. One Senator admitted he knew of the potential damage the anti-immigrant law could cause to the South Carolina economy:

“Our state would be flat on its face and prostrate without migrant labor, and I don’t want to do anything that would negatively affect (it),” said Republican State Sen. Danny Verdin, according to Savannahnow.com. “We’re already in a fragile environment as it is relating to others aspects — immigration law.”

And as always, for your snark, here’s the Wonkette’s take on this move:

Well well well. It seems a secret loophole in South Carolina’s anti-immigration law, undoubtedly put in at the behest of Big Nanny, lets South Carolina employers off the hook in checking the immigration status of any potential worker who wants to clean their house, diaper their kids, or pick their strawberries.

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