For those businesses that may be fined for employing illegal workers, is it reasonable to call them illegal businesses?
January 28, 2008Hispanics discuss illegal-worker bill
by Francesca Jarosz
The debate over how to deal with the state's illegal immigrant population heated up Sunday as the Hispanic community addressed legislation aimed at cracking down on businesses that employ illegal workers.
A bill authored by Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, calls for punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants. It is scheduled to go before the Indiana Senate by Wednesday.The issue has been aired at Senate hearings, but Sunday was the first time a group of Hispanics discussed it with the senator. They met with Delph at the Statehouse.Some warned that because the bill would force businesses to police immigration status, anyone who speaks Spanish or has a Hispanic surname could face discrimination."I don't feel safe just because so much discussion is going into what we have to hide and fear," said Carmen DeRusha, 45, Carmel, who is a U.S. citizen. "I would propose that we could make people legal."Delph said an anti-discrimination amendment will be discussed Tuesday."Nations cannot survive in a post-9/11 world without responding to the rule of law," he said.Some of his constituents agreed.Wayne Township resident Diane Osborn, who was not at Sunday's meeting, said she has been fighting for more than a year for legislation to reduce the number of illegal immigrants."Employment is the draw," Osborn said. "If they shut that down, they won't come."
Call Star reporter Francesca Jarosz at (317) 444-5527.
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