SC immigration law exempts farmworkers, nannies

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A loophole in South Carolina's immigration law exempts farmworkers and private maids and nannies from a mandatory immigration status check.

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.

But the State newspaper reports Sunday that a little-known loophole provides exceptions for agriculture laborers, domestic workers in a private residence, ministers and fishermen working on small crews.

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.

Critics say it's is unfair for legislators to create an exemption for select groups and not provide it to other small businesses.

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