Lesia Shannon Kudelka
Communications Director and Ombudsman
Counsel to Office of Communications
By Terry Cregar
The Greenville News
August 29, 2010
The state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation says five subcontractors working on school construction sites in Pickens County employed a total of 35 undocumented workers.
Three are based in the Upstate, and the others are from Georgia and Michigan. The five subcontractors couldn't be reached for comment.
Together, they employed 35 illegal aliens, according to the LLR, ranging from one worker found at one site up to 21 at another site.
The illegal aliens were discovered working at construction sites at the new Pickens County Career and Technology Center near Liberty, the new Liberty High School site, the new Dacusville Elementary site and at the new Pickens High school, according to the LLR.
All 35 undocumented workers have been terminated by the subcontractors, said Jim Knight, director of the LLR's office of communications.
Last spring, LLR officials visited district construction sites after hearing complaints of illegal immigrants working on the sites. At the time, three violations were documented. Those three workers were terminated by the subcontractor, Knight said.
The LLR expanded its investigation this summer after a change in state law that went into effect July 1 placed all contractors and subcontractors under the law's requirements. Previously, only those employing 100 or more were subject to the inspections.
Knight said the LLR's Office of Immigrant Worker Compliance checked 47 general contractors and subcontractors at construction sites in Pickens County. Of that total, 42 were in compliance with the law, he said.