Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Indiana passes law that targets employers of undocumented immigrants

Press Release

(INDIANA STATEHOUSE) Indiana Senators voted 37-11 today to pass legislation to crackdown on businesses that profit from the hiring of illegal immigrants. Senate Bill 335, authored by Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel), focuses on those who harbor, transport or employ illegal immigrants.

Today the Senate voted to uphold and enforce the rule of law in our state,� Delph said. This is the next step in the legislative process and I am encouraged by the growing support for this bill. I committed to working with members of the House of Representatives to pass this legislation that upholds one of the basic and fundamental pillars of democracy, the respect for the rule of law.�

SB 335 targets employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants in Indiana by allowing the attorney general�s office and local prosecutors to investigate written complaints of such practices. An employer is who is found to have violated the law would be punished based on a three-tier system:

1. the employers first offense would be a warning;

2. if they have a second offense in a ten-year span, the court could suspend their license to do business in Indiana for ten days; and

3. if they then have a third offense in a ten-year span, the court could revoke their license to do business in Indiana.

Delph's bill includes language that provides immunity for businesses in Indiana who verify the status of their employees through the federal employment verification pilot program, E-Verify.

The Department of Homeland Security stands foursquare behind the E-Verify program and supports state efforts to expand its use,� said Stewart Baker, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Department of Homeland Security. �The program represents a major step forward in enabling compliance with the immigration employment laws of the United States. We have substantially improved its accuracy and effectiveness in recent years and are committed to future improvements as well.�

SB 335 also makes it a Class A misdemeanor for anyone who is found guilty of transporting, shielding from detection, concealing or harboring an illegal alien for commercial or financial gain. The bill provides exemptions for medical services, religious organizations, attorneys and the parent, spouse or children of the illegal immigrants.

SB 335 now moves to the Indiana House of Representatives for further consideration.

Source: Indiana Senate Republican Caucus

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