Businesses cited under new immigration law

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Authorities say 16 of the 600 businesses checked since July have been cited under South Carolina's new

immigration law.

The Greenville News reported Monday that citations have totaled more than $60,000 in penalties. Nearly all of the penalties were waived under the law's provision that allows businesses to escape fines if they fix their verification process.

Pickens Sen. Larry Martin says the high compliance rate shows how well the E-verify program is working. Martin helped lead the push for immigration reform.

The state law requires businesses to verify a worker's legal



status within five days of their hiring. Companies can use either the federal electronic database, E-Verify, a state driver's license, or the driver's license from one of 26 approved states.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)