Immigration to South Carolina
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About South Carolina
South Carolina was one of the thirteen colonies that declared independence from Britain during the American Revolution and the first state to secede from the Union during the American Revolution. South Carolina is a favorite vacation spot for golfing enthusiasts. The Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand area along the eastern coast has more than 100 golf courses - making the highest number per capita of public golf courses than any other place in the country. Hilton Head, South Carolina is a favorite beach vacation spot along the East Coast of the US.
South Carolina’s economy is primarily based on agriculture and industrial products. The main agricultural commodities produced include: tobacco, poultry, cattle, dairy products, soybeans and hogs. The main industrial sectors include: textile goods, chemical products, paper products, machinery and tourism.
Immigration to South Carolina
In an attempt to control illegal immigration growth, there is proposed legislation in South Carolina which would require every South Carolina business to participate in a federal employee verification database. Under the current bill, only government contractors are required to use the database; the proposed amendment would require the private sector to comply as well. This strict law puts the responsibility on the businesses and discourages the hiring of illegal immigrants. South Carolina is attractive to illegal immigrants largely because of its agricultural production; however large illegal populations can also be found in the hospitality industry as well.
As of 2007, FAIR estimates the state’s illegal alien population to be about 75,000 persons which equates to approximately 1.7 percent of the overall population. The annual fiscal cost to South Carolina taxpayers for emergency medical care, education, and incarceration projected by FAIR is currently $186 million. This figure is estimated to rise to $333 million per year in 2010 and $615 million per year in 2020.
Illegal Immigration to South Carolina
Illegal immigration has become a key issue in the state as some believe that illegal immigrants place a financial strain on state services. FAIR estimates that if the state’s illegal alien population continues to increase, approximately 270,000 persons will be added to the state within the next several years. As of 2006, it is estimated that 32.6% of foreigners were naturalized citizens. This can be compared to 37.1% in 2001. Data also indicate that the state received 1,095 refugees from 1997-2006, with 133 refugees arriving in 2006.
South Carolina Immigration Statistics
- Total Population: 4,321,249 (2006 Census Bureau)
- Foreign Born: 150,605 (2006 FAIR estimate)
- Illegal Immigrants: FAIR Estimate: 75,000 (2007)
- USCIS/DHS Estimate: 36,000 (2003)
- Pew Hispanic Center Estimate: 35,000-75,000 (2005)
- South Carolina’s immigrant population increased by nearly 30% between 2000 and 2006.
- In 2005, housing authorities reported over 26,000 of South Carolina households were defined as crowded or severely crowded. Studies by the Urban Institute in 2001 indicate a rise in crowded housing often correlates with in increase in the number of immigrant residents.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2007 South Carolina’s unemployment rate is 6.6%, significantly higher than the national average of 5%.