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News: Delph's immigration bill passes Senate

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Indiana State Senator Mike Delph (R-Carmel) is celebrating the passage of his immigration bill in the Senate yesterday.

In his press release, Delph calls the bill "one of the toughest illegal immigration bills in the country' and says it is aimed at punishing those who harbor, transport or employ illegal immigrants in Indiana.

"The Senate came together today and sent a clear message that we will no longer tolerate this failure of the federal government to protect our borders and ensure our national security," Delph said. "I am committed to working with members of the Indiana House of Representatives to continue the discussion on illegal immigration."

Senate Bill 580 prohibits Indiana employers from knowingly employing illegal immigrants, places violators on three year probation and requires violators to file quarterly reports concerning all new hires to the Indiana Attorney General's office.

If a second violation occurs, the employer could receive up to 10-years probation and be required to file quarterly reports. A third violation could result in the permanent loss of the business license in Indiana.

Delph said his legislation includes a "safe harbor" for an employer who verifies the work status of an employee using the E-Verify System, a federal system free to employers who want to confirm citizenship or legal employability. The legislation requires exempt organizations to use the E-Verify system.

SB 580 also includes several other provisions targeting illegal immigration across Indiana:

-Prohibits sanctuary policies for illegal aliens;

-Increases penalties for counterfeiting or falsely reproducing a driver's license;

-Requires the Indiana Department of Corrections to check the citizenship or immigration status of a adult and juvenile offenders committed to a correction facility;

-Requires the Indiana Department of Labor to use the SAVE program to determine the immigration statuses for unemployment benefit eligibility;

-Prohibits the employment of illegal immigrants by state agencies and public contractors and requires the use of the free, federal E-Verify system;

-Increases penalties for distributing counterfeit identifications;

-Increases penalties for someone who knowingly or intentionally transports, conceals, harbors or shields from detection an illegal immigrant for commercial or private financial gain; and

-Increases penalties to use individual tax identification numbers or consular identifications for purposes other than provided in federal law.

Delph's bill now moves to the House for further action.

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