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Indiana House speaker questions immigration crackdown

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Indiana's Republican House speaker said Thursday he had concerns about aspects of a proposal calling for an Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigration moving through the Legislature.

Speaker Brian Bosma said that House leaders were talking with business leaders and looking closely at the bill approved by the Senate and awaiting action by the House.

That bill contains tax penalties for businesses that hire illegal immigrants and allows police officers to seek proof of immigration status if they have a reasonable suspicion a person is in the country illegally.

Bosma said he was uncomfortable with the prospect of foreign citizens in the state on work or education visas being frequently questioned.

"Putting these individuals in a position, having not committed any other crime, of having to prove their legal residency here has given many folks concern," Bosma told reporters. "We have to find a way to deal with the issue that does not give individuals who are here legally very strong third-class residency."

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has said it worries the bill would hurt the state's business climate, and Indianapolis-based drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. has raised concerns about possible damage to its ability to attract top workers.

Bill sponsor Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, said he's supporting changes to the proposal but that it would still be "tough but fair."

"This doesn't hurt law-abiding businesses or citizens in the least," Delph said. "People who support following the law shouldn't have any problem with what we're trying to do."

Delph said a proposed amendment to the bill would:

— remove the authority for police officers to verify the citizenship or immigration status of those stopped for other reasons.

— eliminate a requirement that the state police negotiate an agreement with federal authorities so that troopers could enforce immigration laws. Delph said that was being removed because of its possible $5 million cost.

— restore a requirement that the state calculate the costs of illegal immigration and seek reimbursement from Congress.

The bill, which the Senate approved in February by a 31-18 vote, requires most government documents and meetings to be only in English, but the amendment would specify that other languages could be used in public school classes if the student is enrolled in a class to learn English.

Delph said he wanted to have tougher penalties on businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants, but that he was compromising to win passage of the law.

"People are going to support illegal immigration and they justify it or they support American sovereignty and they want to crack down on illegal immigration," he said. "There's no way really to hedge on that."

Bosma said he shared frustrations over the federal government not dealing effectively with illegal immigration and believed the crackdown bill would be considered by a House committee, which might take up the changes Delph has proposed.

"There's no deal on this," Bosma said. "People are looking at a lot of different solutions."

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  • soft on illegals
    Bosma and Daniels are too soft on illegal aliens. There are too many here holding jobs that can be held by American citizens. Just who is supposed to find and deport illegal aliens if not law enforcement? Maybe the Boy Scouts?
  • Immigrant Welcome Bill
    How about introducing a immigrant welcome bill that would provide integration services to legal immigrants like English language training/education, immunization/intro to basic health services, and support federal immigration reform while rejecting all additional burdens desired by Xenophobia advocates.

    No need to mandate E-verify since employers already are required to file a I-9 form and the GAO & CBO have determined the E-Verify Systems if flawed and flags many legal immigrants.
  • Motivation
    The English-only government documents provision just proves that this legislation is motivated by hatred/jealousy/fear, because it will just make it that much HARDER for people (yes, they are PEOPLE) who are already here to attain legal citizen status!
  • Missing the point
    Reading the two earlier comments it seems apparent that fear is driving the dialogue on immigration. Opposition to this measure is not about whether illegal immigrants should or shouldn't be here -- it's about racial profiling. Why do you fear someone who looks different than you?
  • immigrationcrackdown
    what about homeland secutity we are giving them a hand. people that are here legally will also feel safer. bosma and eli lilly need to get back to doing their job. mitch and bosma have done enough to hurt our state
  • Do the Right Thing
    If this legislature accomplishes only one thing in regards to ILLEGAL immigration let it be making E-Verify mandatory.

    It will save Hoosier jobs and Hoosier lives.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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