Beaufort County, S.C., has identified 170 illegal immigrants in its jail; the sheriff said said an ongoing crackdown may be causing people in the U.S. illegally to leave the area. The county is two months into a three-month crackdown on illegal immigrants, the Associated Press reports. Sheriff P.J. Tanner told The Island Packet of Hilton Head that the next step will be investigating companies suspected of hiring illegal immigrants.
“We have heard  that there is a percentage of foreign-born illegals who have been voluntarily leaving the county, particularly those with children,” Tanner said. “They don’t want to be picked up for a traffic offense and then get tied up in deportation.” Community leader Juan Campos said the crackdown is causing fear. Business at his restaurants has fallen 60 percent as his customers leave town. The crackdown also is creating fears that deputies are stopping suspected illegal immigrants for minor violations like having a car light out just to check if they are in the country legally, Campos said. “They are really breaking up families,” he said.