A system that lets employers check whether newly hired workers are in the country legally has won a three-year extension from Congress.

But the debate over the E-Verify program is far from over. In addition to renewsing the controversial voluntary program, Congress voted to approve $137 million for it over three years as part of a $43 billion spending bill for the Homeland Security Department. The bill now heads to the White House, where President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law soon.

South Carolina is one of 12 states that have passed legislation in recfent years requiring employers to use the E-Verify program as a way to combat illegal immigration.

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