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Debate over illegal immigration law not over
By Mike Smith / Associated Press, May 27, 2008

Property tax relief wasn't the only weighty issue state lawmakers tackled last session, but it is one they ultimately resolved.

The other big, contentious topic - what the state should do about illegal immigration - was left twisting in a whirlwind of politics and emotion. In the end, Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a compromise on legislation addressing the issue.
Indiana's immigration laws on agenda for summer study
BY PATRICK GUINANE for the NWI Times, May 23, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS | State lawmakers created a special committee Thursday to spend the next five months examining the politically charged issue of illegal immigration.

Efforts to create a three-tiered punishment system for Indiana companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants fizzled in the final days of this year's legislative session, which ended in March.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said the new Interim Study Committee on Immigration Issues will bring fresh facts to a debate sure to resume when lawmakers reconvene in January.
Panel discusses implications of immigration for South Bend
By Erin Logan for WNDU, March 27, 2008

How to fix it, how to address it, what to do about immigration reform? It's a challenging issue that our nation is dealing with.

You may remember just over a year ago, federal immigration officials raided Janco in Mishawaka and three dozen alleged illegal aliens were arrested.

Since then, a local priest asked several Notre dame departments to study what would happen to South bend's economy if every undocumented immigrant was deported.

After looking at the results, “harmful” is the word panelists used to describe what this would mean.

Wednesday night, reverend Chris Cox of St. Adalbert's Parish along with legal, educational, and healthcare service providers discussed how this study highlights the urgency of finding a solution to immigration reform locally and nationally.
Kurt Meyer: Immigration issue sullied by racism
By Kurt Meyer for the Noblesville Daily Times, March 19, 2008

Indiana’s leaders failed to pass a get-tough immigration bill this session. The bill’s chances waned after a March 11 rally held by supporters that included racially inflammatory comments from a Los Angeles minister.

It’s proof that until immigration reform forces wring the intolerant tone from their movement, the public will doubt their true motivation. That’s because those most worked up about illegal immigrants too often sound like they’re primarily concerned with America’s changing demographics.

The majority of those who want aggressive action against illegal immigration aren’t racists. They’re people who understand that America can’t accept an unlimited number of immigrants, that our schools, workforce and public services cannot accept every person that wants to come here, and after 9/11, their patience for sloppy immigration management has them rightly worried over national security.
Some disappointed immigration bill failed
By Bettina Puckett for the Shelbyville News, March 18, 2008

While state lawmakers representing Shelby County were pleased with the landmark property tax reform package the General Assembly passed, two of the three expressed disappointment over not resolving the state's immigration issue.

"My biggest disappointment is we did not get to vote on an immigration bill," said Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville. "We failed to address the second-biggest issue behind property tax."

Eberhart blamed partisan politics on the breakdown.

"The House Democrats did not want to hear that bill," he said. "For whatever reason, they refused to assign it out of the conference committee. That is the very final committee it would hit before coming up for a vote."

Rep. Bob Cherry, R-Greenfield, also expressed regret over not being able to pass an immigration law.
Immigration bill conferees named
By Dan McFeely for the Indianapolis Star, March 13, 2008

House and Senate conferees planned to meet this afternoon to begin working on the illegal immigration bill. But a compromise could be hard to acheive, as both sides expressed no desire to give in to the other.

House members will be pushing for the Senate conferees to simply accept the House version that is currently part of Senate Bill 345. But Senate conferees are expected to try to insert language ironed out earlier this week by Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel and his House sponsor, Rep. Vern Tincher, D-Riley.
Immigration bill on the clock - Lawmakers, ministers make final pushas midnight Friday deadline looms
By Bryan Corbin for the Evansville Courier Press, March 12, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS — Borrowing a tactic from their opponents, the supporters of a three-strikes immigration bill gathered lawmakers and a Los Angeles minister onto the same stage to make the case for letting the bill get a final vote.

Whether the three-strikes legislation, now contained in Senate Bill 345, advances any further won't be decided until Thursday at the earliest. Midnight Friday is the deadline to pass bills and adjourn for the year.

State Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, and state Rep. Vern Tincher, D-Terre Haute, renewed their call Tuesday for final action on the hybrid version of their bill, which, among other things, says companies caught employing illegal immigrants three times in seven years could lose their Indiana business licenses. It also would seek to have the State Police trained to enforce federal immigration laws.
Lawmakers modify immigration bill
By Dan McFeely for the Indianapolis Star, March 10, 2008

After a week of legislative silence on two illegal immigration bills -- slightly different but passed by large margins in both the House and Senate -- the author of the bill and its chief sponsor in the House have drafted a new bill in an attempt to increase the proposals' chances of passing this year.

In order for that to happen in the final week of the short session, Senate and House leaders must reach a compromise in a conference committee before the bill can go back to both chambers for a final vote and then to the desk of the governor.
Immigration vote today puts House in spotlight - Backers say bill has bipartisan support to pass
By Dan McFeely for the Indianapolis Star, February 28, 2008

State lawmakers are poised to cast a historic vote today on illegal immigration reform, and all eyes -- from small-town voters to big-time lobbyists -- will be on the Indiana House of Representatives.

"I am very much following this bill. Hopefully, it will pass with some teeth in it," said Phil Stephens, Nineveh, who has written e-mails and letters of support of the legislation.

Immigration reform has never stood as good a chance for passage in Indiana as it does this year.
House OKs illegal immigration bill aimed at employers
By Dan McFeely for the Indianapolis Star, February 28, 2008

The Indiana House voted 66-33 this evening to pass an illegal immigration bill that cracks down on employers that knowingly hire undocumented workers.

The bill also requires the Indiana State Police to take the necessary steps to start enforcing federal immigration laws and provides funding to make that happen.
It also includes funding for the Indiana attorney general's office, which would investigate written complaints made against employers.
Immigration vote today puts House in spotlight - Backers say bill has bipartisan support to pass
By Dan McFeely for the Indianapolis Star, February 28, 2008

State lawmakers are poised to cast a historic vote today on illegal immigration reform, and all eyes -- from small-town voters to big-time lobbyists -- will be on the Indiana House of Representatives.

"I am very much following this bill. Hopefully, it will pass with some teeth in it," said Phil Stephens, Nineveh, who has written e-mails and letters of support of the legislation.

Immigration reform has never stood as good a chance for passage in Indiana as it does this year. Supporters say the difference is the legislation's focus on business owners who profit from hiring illegal workers rather than a bill depriving individuals of social services.
Amendments to immigration bill OK'd in the House
By Bill Ruthhart and Dan McFeely for the Indianapolis Star, February 25, 2008

A proposal to crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants was revived today when the Indiana House of Representatives voted to insert the measure into another bill.

The measure, now part of Senate Bill 345, is ready for a third and final reading in the House by Wednesday.

The House resumed business late this morning when Republicans returned to the chamber after a boycott Thursday night.

But Minority Leader Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, immediately filed a protest to Speaker B. Patrick Bauer’s decision not to hear amendments to the immigration measure.
Immigration laws send Hispanics elsewhere - 2 states that approved crackdowns have seen an exodus of illegals
By Dan McFeely for the Indianapolis Star, February 24, 2008

Thousands of illegal immigrants have fled the two states that have enacted tough new immigration laws similar to the one before the Indiana General Assembly.

Since passing their laws, Oklahoma and Arizona have seen declines in school enrollments, a scarcity of construction workers and the sudden emptying of rental homes and apartments.

The same, some people say, would happen in Indiana, though advocates of stronger immigration laws say they would welcome the change. The impact in Tulsa, Okla., was startling to Judy Feary, a principal at an elementary school where 59 percent of 1,000 students are Hispanic.
Immigration bill down, maybe not out
Indianapolis Star, February 24, 2008

Mike Delph has not made very many friends at the Statehouse this year.

As the Carmel Republican senator has pushed his illegal immigration bill through the Senate and House, he has faced the wrath of many -- including some in his own party.

When Delph's immigration bill fizzled Thursday night, it wasn't the Democrats, or House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, driving it into the ground.

It was the Republicans, who offered up several amendments that took Delph's bill in an entirely new direction -- away from cracking down on employers that hire illegal immigrants and toward denying certain social benefits to illegal immigrants.

Delph was not a happy camper on Friday. He said he has bent over backward to build a political coalition and to keep the bill focused on employers, not on withholding benefits. The GOP amendments were sure-fire bill killers.
House GOP walks out over immigration bill
By Bill Ruthhart for the Indianapolis Star, February 22, 2008

House Republicans staged a Statehouse walkout Thursday night to protest an effort by Democrats to prevent changes to an illegal-immigration bill.

The GOP boycott began shortly after 8 p.m. when Republicans refused to return to the House chamber after meeting behind closed doors on the issue for more than two hours.

The feuding centered on Senate Bill 335, which would punish employers that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
The House Public Policy Committee approved the bill Monday after amending the legislation, authored by Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel.
Emotional debate on immigration underway in Indiana House
By Jim Shella for WISH-TV, February 21, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - There’s an emotional debate underway right now in the Indiana House of Representatives over immigration.

The immigration bill before the legislature is aimed at employers who hire illegal immigrants, but republicans in the Indiana House of Representatives want to also target the illegal immigrants.

The Republicans attempted a rare procedural move to force a vote on their immigration ideas but Democrats used their majority to prevent that vote. But, not before the Republicans spelled out punishment they want directed at illegal aliens.

“Like no benefits for illegal immigrants. No in-state tuition for illegal immigrants,” said Rep. Brian Bosmal (R).
Immigration bill advances-Democrats make changes; Hispanic critics still hope measure dies
By Bill Ruthhart, Indianapolis Star, February 19, 2008

Businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers would be tried in an administrative rather than a criminal court under one of several changes lawmakers approved to an immigration bill Monday.
Update: Immigration bill changed in committee - Republicans complain bill is softened, Democrats claim it was improved
By ED RONCO, South Bend Tribune, February 18, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS — A bill to toughen Indiana’s immigration laws passed out of committee today, but not before the addition of an amendment that Republicans say takes the teeth out of the measure.

Senate Bill 335, which was approved by the House Committee on Public Policy by a vote of 7 to 4, would have given businesses three strikes to not hire illegal immigrants.

The first time a business was caught knowingly hiring illegal workers, it would receive a warning. If it committed a second offense within 10 years, it could lose its license to operate for 10 days. A third offense within 10 years of the first offense could result in the business losing its license permanently.
House Committee Alters Immigration Bill
STATEHOUSE Press Release February 18, 2008

Today, the House Public Policy Committee amended Senate Bill 335, to remove most enforcement policy. The amended bill was voted out of committee by a 7-4 vote.

SB 335, as it originally came to the House, focused on employers hiring illegal immigrants. Under the original bill, the superintendent of the Indiana State Police must enter into a memorandum of understanding concerning a pilot project for the enforcement of federal immigration and customs laws. This would allow Indiana police officers to transport illegal immigrants to detention centers.

The amendment added to the bill, offered by the sponsor, Rep. Trent VanHaaften (D-Mount Vernon), permits but does not require the state police to work with federal immigration officials to help transport illegal immigrants to detention centers.
Identity Theft by Illegal Immigrants a Growing Problem Locally
by Samuel King

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Also growing is the number of illegal immigrants using identity theft to get jobs.