Local Interest
1:56 am
Wed August 15, 2007

Myrtle Beach Dropping Immigrant Employee Ordinance

Wilmington, NC – Myrtle Beach is doing away with a rule allowing business license inspectors to check that immigrants in the city's workforce were all legally allowed to work.

The rule, passed unanimously by the City Council three years ago, requires employers to furnish documentation of their workers' legal status when asked.

On Monday the council voted 6-to-1 on first reading to abolish the rule. The ordinance comes up for a final vote at the council's August 28th meeting.

Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea says the city's legal staff has been keeping an eye on court battles over similar rules in other states and alerted the council that local governments were not on the winning side.

"As far as I know," Kruea said, "the courts have all said, 'gee, immigration controls, immigration requirements all belong under the federal umbrella. Local governments shouldn't be usurping the federal government's power.'"

But Kruea adds that city inspectors never actually enforced the provision.

"Our business license inspectors are making sure that businesses have the licenses they need, that they're abiding by the rules and regulations of the city. And that piece of it never was something we needed to do," Kruea said.
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