24 February 2011

Indiana follows Arizona in passing tough US immigration curbs

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The Indiana senate has passed a US immigration bill that is similar to Arizona's tougher measures on illegal immigrants, despite opposition from some of the state’s largest employers and business groups.

US Visa

Business groups look to lobby hard against an Indiana bill that is tough on those suspected of without a US Visa.

The bill, passed on Tuesday night by a vote of 31-18, would allow state and local police to ask a person stopped for infractions like traffic violations for proof of a US Visa or legitimate residency if the officer has a "reasonable suspicion" they may be in the country illegally.

Another provision in the bill would call for, with some exceptions, the use of English only in public meetings, on Web sites and in documents.

The bill still needs to be adopted by state's House of Representatives before it can become law.

The bill's author Senator Mike Delph said in a statement that the bill will "send a clear message that Indiana will no longer be a sanctuary for people who are in our state and country illegally because of our federal government's failure to act on illegal immigration."

However, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce officials say the measure would have an economic impact on the state and be bad for business, particularly convention business.

The Chamber will lobby House members to block the bill. 

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