Reps. Dermody and Eberhart Announce Tough Immigration Legislation
(STATEHOUSE) Jan. 23. 2009 – State Reps. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) and Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) have announced the filing of House Bill 1488, a bill that requires state agencies to verify the lawful presence in the United States of certain individuals who apply for public benefits. In addition, employers would be required to use the E-Verify system to confirm the legal status of its employees.
Under the bill, unauthorized residents who attempt to apply for public benefits would be charged with a Class D felony. Additionally, the bill broadens the authority of law enforcement officials when dealing with employers of unauthorized residents.
“I believe, given these especially though times, that public benefits must only be given to Hoosiers,” said. Rep. Dermody. “We simply cannot afford to be freely giving taxpayer benefits away to people who are not legal residents of this country. This legislation would go a long way in guaranteeing that.”
“This is still a big problem,” said Rep. Eberhart. “We haven’t heard enough about it this session. This is still a major issue, and Hoosiers are calling for action. People want to know what is being done about it, and it needs to be addressed.”
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Hoosiers have been clamoring for a few years now to get tough on illegal aliens who receive public benefits. This isn't something that affects my usually area of advocacy but there is a causative effect. As illegal aliens eat into the social services budgets of local, state and federal agencies those agencies are looking to recover whatever costs they can.
That leads to the usual target being forced to foot the bill for everyone else. Again it is fathers. Not all fathers but those who can be documented and have a job. If an illegal goes to the hospital and gives birth neither the mother or father is required to pay. However, if a mother, who is a US citizens and on Medicaid, gives birth in a hospital she is not required to pay for any of the costs. Then the federal government assesses the entire cost to the father if he also is a US citizen.
Here is the synopsis, known as the digest, of the introduced bill;
Unauthorized aliens. Requires the superintendent of the state police department to: (1) negotiate terms of a memorandum of understanding (memorandum) concerning a pilot project for the enforcement of federal immigration and customs laws; and (2) designate appropriate police employees to be trained under the memorandum. Prohibits a state agency or political subdivision from providing federal, state, or local public benefits to a person who is not a: (1) United States citizen; or (2) qualified alien under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act and lawfully present in the United States. Requires a state agency or a political subdivision to verify the lawful presence in the United States of certain individuals who apply for public benefits. Requires a state agency or political subdivision to: (1) verify the lawful presence of the person; (2) verify the lawful presence of certain individuals through the Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlements (SAVE) program; and (3) report errors and significant delays in the SAVE program. Provides that a person who makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement in an affidavit verifying lawful presence commits a Class D felony. Requires employers to: (1) comply with requirements regarding verification of employment under federal law; and (2) make verification forms available for inspection by the commissioner of labor. Requires the commissioner of labor to file a complaint with the United States Office of the Attorney General if an employer fails to retain or to make available for inspection a verification of each employee.
This is not going to be the cure to our nations economic ills nor the manifest injustice that is placed upon fathers. It still relies upon government bureaucrats for implementation, detection and enforcement. I do believe it is worthy of passage as a step in the right direction. Please contact your Representative to express your support. Click on the link below for assistance in finding your state representative.