Illegal Immigrant Proposal Stirs Strong Emotion

Indiana Bill Would Punish Businesses For Knowingly Hiring Illegals

INDIANAPOLIS — Emotion filled the Indiana Statehouse on Sunday as the immigration debate took center stage.

A handful of members of the Hispanic community showed up to oppose a bill that would cause businesses to lose their licenses for knowingly hiring anyone who is in the U.S. illegally.Many Hispanic speakers said they view illegal immigration as a problem, but said the issue should not be resolved by state regulation, but should instead be determined by the federal government.

Republican Sen. Mike Delph, of Carmel, sponsored the bill, which is expected to be heard before the full Senate later this week, 6News’ Cheryl Jackson reported.

Several speakers opposed the bill at a forum organized by the Indiana State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.Those who support it contend that illegal immigration costs taxpayers millions of dollars and poses a national security threat.”Nations cannot survive in a post-9/11 environment without the respect for the rule of law,” Delph said.Anna Hail argued that what is legal is not always what is right.”We had slavery — it was legal. We imprisoned thousands of Japanese Americans during the war — it was legal. We experimented with black people in Tuskegee — it was legal. We had segregation — it was legal,” Hail said. “Let’s not add Senate Bill 335 to a long list of legal injustices.”Several emotional arguments were posed by those who appose the bill, including the contention that the system makes it hard for people who want to be here legally to do so.”I am not able to get scholarships. I’m not able to get financial aid. It’s hard,” said Alejandra Laguna. “I want to succeed. I want to go to college really bad because one day, I want to help this country.””When you were thinking about making a law that would punish people who hire illegals, did you think about their children?” said Manuel Coutolenc.Studies have show that between 50,000 to 100,000 illegal immigrants reside in Indiana, costing the state as much as $259 million a year.Those who support the bill also said that illegal workers are forcing American workers out of jobs.


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