Letters to the Editor

SC immigration efforts targeting wrong group

As reported in the Packet on May 23, the South Carolina legislature is considering a second illegal immigration bill, concentrating on the illegal immigrants themselves.

The first bill, passed in 2008, went after the employers of illegal immigrants. The state audited 6,000 businesses, found 2,206 guilty, and fined them $1.6 million, and then rescinded 98 percent of the fines because of the way the law was written.

The 2008 bill resulted in the reduction of the illegal population in South Carolina from 70,000 to 55,000 or about 21 percent. The question is, where are the 55,000 remaining illegal immigrants working? Who is hiring them?

Illegal immigrants do not live in this country, state, county, city or town if they cannot find a job to earn a living. It means that companies are still hiring illegal workers who can be exploited with lower wages and no benefits. Here in South Carolina, what's the point if you are fined by the state, but the state makes no meaningful effort to collect the fines? As usual, the state is going after the wrong people.

Philip W. Wolfe