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First Day of Testimony on Illegal Immigration Bill

February 4, 2009

A Senate committee today began the first of three days of public testimony on a bill to punish businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers. It does not require state police to enforce federal immigration law, like illegal immigration that failed last year. But it does still threaten to revoke the licenses of businesses who knowingly hire undocumented workers, unless they use the federal e-verify worker status verification program. Today, senators heard from people supporting the bill, including Julie Myers Wood, the former head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, during the recent Bush Administration.

“I’m very pleased to see that Indiana is considering incentivizing businesses to use e-verify, making e-verify mandatory, as a way to ensure that jobs in Indiana are held for U.S. citizens in Indiana and others who are legally authorized to work in the United States.”

The bill has many provisions regarding documentation. It would require people filing for unemployment insurance to show up in person, in an attempt to end benefit payments to illegal immigrants. It would also disallow federal tax I.D. numbers for undocumented workers and consulate cards as acceptable forms of identifications for employment or loans. Public testimony will take place tomorrow evening. Opponents of the bill will be offered a final chance to testify before the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee next week.

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