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Senate Gives Final Approval to Immigration Reform Bill

May 29, 2008
Senate Gives Final Approval to Immigration Reform Bill
Columbia, SC - The Senate today gave final approval to the South
Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act (H.4400). The bill, which now
goes to the House of Representatives, is the most comprehensive
immigration reform bill in the country. The legislation addresses the
major issues in the fight for illegal immigration reform, including
employer verification for all employers through the federal E-verify
system or with a valid SC driver’s license.  
“Today the Senate passed the most effective reform bill in the
nation. It has a strong E-verify requirement and very aggressive
penalties for those who knowing hire illegal aliens,” says Senator Jim
Ritchie (R-Spartanburg). “Everyone will now be playing by the same
rules and those who choose to break the rules will be punished.  Senator
Ritchie introduced the first comprehensive immigration reform bill in
February 2007, but says “today’s success was made possible by the
extensive behind-the-scenes work of Senator Glenn McConnell.”   
Senator McConnell (R-Charleston) worked extensively with House
leadership to find common ground on some of the major sticking points of
previous legislation. “This bill enjoyed wide support before the
Senate included private employers. After private employers became a part
of the equation it took the work of everyone, the House leadership,
Senator Ritchie, Senator Campsen, and the leadership across the aisle to
bring in private employers in a way that adheres to federal law, but has
the enforceability elements to create a strong bill.” 
Senator Ritchie and the Senate Republican Caucus also extend their
appreciation   to the governor for his consistent support of illegal
immigration reform. In a statement release after the bill received a key
second reading on Tuesday, May 27, the governor said “There’s been a
lot of back and forth on this bill over the past few weeks, but we
believe the end result that the Senate approved today is what everyone
was after the whole time – a strong and enforceable immigration
bill.” The governor went on to say he is looking forward to the
bill coming to his desk as soon as possible.
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