SC labor head: Lawsuits don't alter business rules

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The head of South Carolina's labor agency says federal lawsuits challenging the state's anti-illegal immigration law won't affect the law's mandate that businesses check their new employees' legal status.

Director Catherine Templeton said Monday lawsuits filed by the U.S. Justice Department and American Civil Liberties Union have no bearing on the part of the law her agency oversees. The two groups are asking a judge to prevent the law from taking effect Jan. 1.

But Templeton says neither lawsuit targets the requirements that all businesses run their new hires through the federal online system E-Verify. She says her agency will begin enforcing those requirements Jan. 1 regardless of what happens with provisions being challenged.

The law threatens to yank the licenses and other documents businesses need to operate.

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