Illegal aliens hurt small contractors

Illegal aliens hurt small contractors
December 05 15:55 2017 Print This Article

A former contractor told Lowcountry Source that the prevalence of illegal alien laborers is making it difficult for small contractors who play by the rules to stay in business. Her minority-owned business did home re-modeling projects and used to employ 42 people. She says that she knows of dozens of minority-owned businesses involved in painting, dry wall, stucco, masonry, roofing and landscaping which have shut down during the past two decades.

The contractor, who will be referred to as “Loretta”, did not want to be identified. She says that businesses which hire illegals, including national and multi-state chains, have an unfair advantage, because they pay lower wages and don’t have to pay Social Security and Medicare matching funds or Workmen’s Compensation fees. She said evidence of the cash economy can be evidenced at banks on Friday afternoons, when dozens of people in laborer attire who don’t speak English show up to make cash deposits.

Loretta is pleased with the job President Donald Trump is doing to crack down on illegal immigration. The top priority for the Trump administration is pursuing is tracking down and deporting the 80,000 illegal alien prisoners who were released into the population at the end of the Obama administration. She said that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) needs more holding facilities to detain illegals and prepare them for deportation and suggested that such facilities and the proposed border wall could be paid for with assets seized from the drug cartels and taxing wire transfers to other countries.

While South Carolina has an E-Verify law to ensure that businesses only hire legal residents, Loretta said that many businesses skirt the law by hiring out-of-state subcontractors, which don’t have to comply with E-Verify. She also claimed that the state doesn’t do workplace audits in the hospitality and construction sectors with large numbers of illegal workers but rather concentrates the audits in areas such as barbershops, nail salons and professional service offices. If a South Carolina business is found to be out of compliance with E-Verify on more than one audit, it would lose its business license.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that illegal immigration cost South Carolina $630 Million last year. Among the illegal immigration-related costs borne by state and local governments are K-12 schools for the children of illegals, prison and detention center expenses, and emergency room medical care services.  If you suspect that a business is hiring illegal workers, contact the Charleston ICE field office at 843-852-5458.