House panel passes immigration amendment

February 18, 2008
The debate over making Indiana employers responsible for illegal immigration will live to see another day.

This morning, the House Public Policy Committee voted 7-4 to pass an amended version of a Senate bill that aims to crack down on illegal immigration by targeting their employers.

Under the version passed by the committee, some language relating to state enforcement and investigation was changed from "shall" to "may." Republicans said the changes would water down enforcement by giving the state too much discretion.

The House amendment also defines violations on the basis of the number of incidents, not the number of employees in violation, as defined in the Senate bill.

One loophole would be closed. Businesses would be held responsible for ensuring that all employees are legal residents, not just employees who work for a company at least 1,500 hours a year.
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