SC Company Fired For Using Undocumented Workers On School Contracts
Nearly three dozen undocumented immigrants working at school construction sites in a South Carolina county were identified, and the company they work for, fined.
It was announced Friday that the state agency overseeing South Carolina’s illegal immigration law reported that five subcontractors have been cited for employing 35 undocumented workers – 32 of them having been indentified since 2008.
Jim Knight, head of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Office of Immigrant Worker Compliance expects more undocumented immigrants to be identified as the investigation continues. The investigation at public school construction sites in Pickens County began in November, following residents’ and contractors’ complaints when not being hired for the jobs.
Larry Martin, State Sen. said, with the unemployment being 10.8 percent, it is unacceptable for the local property taxes to pay the salaries of illegal workers when so many of his South Carolina residents are out of work.
‘The taxpayers of Pickens County are paying a hefty sum in taxes to provide for those school buildings, and the taxpayers expect and ought to expect those buildings be built by legal employees, expressed Martin.
The general contractors and most of the more than 40 subcontractors investigated thus far have checked out. All 35 undocumented workers that were identified were fired, and in each case, the state notified the federal immigration agency. The state labor agency cannot arrest anyone.
South Carolina’s set of anti-illegal immigration laws, which were considered one of the toughest when passed, bars businesses from employing illegal workers. Also, it requires businesses check all new hires through a federal database or only hire workers who hold a South Carolina driver’s license, or one from an approved state. Not doing so could result in fines up to $1,000 per worker. A business found to repeatedly knowingly employ an illegal worker would face being closed for months.