STATEHOUSE (Feb. 22, 2011) - Senate lawmakers today voted 31-18 to approve legislation authored by Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) cracking down on illegal immigration in Indiana.
"Today's vote was a key step in the legislative process," Delph said. "I will continue to work with my fellow lawmakers to send a clear message that Indiana will no longer be a sanctuary for people who are in our state and country illegally because of our federal government's failure to act on illegal immigration."
Senate Bill 590 allows law enforcement who stop, detain or arrest anyone for violating a law or ordinance to ask for proof the person is here legally if the officer has "reasonable suspicion" to believe otherwise. Delph's bill also requires all state and local governmental units to use English only for all correspondence including websites, documentation and meetings.
"It's time that we put an end to press one for English and two for Spanish in our state," Delph said. "We also must remove the handcuffs from our law enforcement by providing them with the tools and training necessary to identify individuals in our country illegally and then transfer them to federal custody."
SB 590 includes several other provisions targeting illegal immigration across Indiana:
- Prohibits a business who knowingly hires an illegal immigrant from deducting expenses associated with that employee in the calculation of their state income taxes;
- Prevents a governmental body in Indiana from enacting a law or policy restricting law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials on illegal immigration;
- Requires state and local law enforcement to request the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue a detainer for a suspect verified to be in the country illegally, which gives local authorities the authorization to transfer the person to federal custody;
- Allows state and local law enforcement to transport an individual verified to be in the country illegally to a federal facility in Indiana or any other point of transfer into federal custody if the federal government agrees to the transfer;
- Provides illegal immigrants are not eligible for financial aid, grants or scholarships and are not eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at state colleges or universities;
- Requires all state agencies and local government units to use the E-Verify System to check work eligibility status of all newly hired employees;
- Bans state agencies and local governments from entering into or renewing a public contract unless the contractor verifies they do not employ illegal immigrants;
- Disallows state agencies and local governments from awarding a grant of more than $1,000 to a business unless they sign and show documentation that the business is enrolled and participating in the E-Verify program;
- Grants state agencies or local governments authority to terminate a public contract without penalty if the contractor knowingly employs illegal immigrants;
- Mandates the Indiana Department of Correction to make a reasonable effort to verify the status of all offenders committed to a correctional facility;
- Requires the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to verify citizenship before determining eligibility for unemployment benefits;
- Directs the Indiana Department of Agriculture and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. to include on its website a list of agricultural jobs and wage rates for each in which there is a critical need for workers;
- Requires the Indiana State Police when reasonable to negotiate an agreement with the federal government, so state police officers can be trained to enforce federal immigration and customs laws;
- Establishes penalties for someone who knowingly or intentionally transports, conceals, harbors or shields from detection an illegal immigrant for commercial or private financial gain; and
- Makes it illegal to use or accept individual tax identification numbers or identification issued by consulates for purposes other than provided in federal law.
Delph's legislation now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
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