SC illegal immigration audit turns to small firms

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina officials will begin auditing small businesses that tend to hire foreign workers to make sure all employees are in the country legally.

The audits will begin July 1 for small companies, but have been going on for almost a year for larger employers.

State Labor, Licensing and Regulation Department spokesman Jim Knight told The Post and Courier of Charleston for a story Sunday that 94 percent of big companies are complying with a 2008 law designed to reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the work force.

Knight says he doesn't expected the thousands of companies with fewer than 100 workers to have that kind of compliance.

A study by the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 40,000 to 100,000 illegal immigrants live in South Carolina.

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