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Indiana Senate OKs contentious immigration bill

February 22, 2011

The Indiana Senate has approved a contentious Arizona-style bill to crack down on illegal immigration.

The Republican-ruled Senate voted 31-18 Tuesday for the bill, which contains penalties for businesses that hire illegal immigrants and allows police officers to ask someone for proof of immigration status if they have a reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally.

Supporters say Indiana must act because the federal government has shirked its responsibility to deal with illegal immigration. Opponents say the bill will lead to racial profiling and hurt economic development.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, has declined to take a public stance on the proposal.

The bill was proposed by Republican Sen. Mike Delph of Carmel. He couldn't vote on his own bill because he's taking the bar exam Tuesday and Wednesday.

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