Perhaps the night’s most passionate argument came from Sen. Brent Steele, who blasted lobbyists for suggesting that Indiana’s economy would suffer if the state’s estimated 85,000 illegal workers were not available to work in fields, on construction sites and at restaurants.It passed 37-11 in the Senate. It will next be voted on by the Indiana House. The bill's author says that the bill is about human rights.
Steele, R-Bedford, said that sounds as if it’s OK to overlook lawbreakers for the sake of profit.
“What are we saying ... to our kids?” Steele asked. “It would be the same as saying to our kids that it’s OK to sell drugs as long as you make a profit.”
As for complaints that some businesses would not be able to survive without illegal workers, Steele said: “I don’t want those kinds of businesses in my state.”
Senate Bill 335 in its present form would allow the attorney general’s office and local prosecutors to investigate written complaints against businesses accused of hiring illegal immigrants. Employers found to have violated the law face a three-tier punishment system: warning, suspension and revocation of its license to operate.
Monday, February 11, 2008
A bill punishing businesses for hiring the "undocumented" (Senate Bill 335) has passed the Indiana state Senate: