The Indiana State Senate Tuesday kicked off a six-month long committee to study issues with illegal immigration. The first committee meeting features testimony from two expert witnesses who advocated for stricter immigration measures.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach told the committee Indiana should enact measures to require proof of citizenship when registering to vote and require all businesses to use E-Verify, which checks the legal status of prospective employees.
The committee also heard from the Immigration Reform Law Institute’s Dale Wilcox, who agrees with Kobach and says states must step in where the federal government has failed to act.
“The American public is demanding that government at all levels take the necessary steps to protect American jobs and taxpayers from a burden placed upon them by years of inconsistent and often lax immigration enforcement,” Wilcox says.
The Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance's Sarah Fox says lawmakers should instead focus on measures that will make Indiana more welcoming.
“Make education an equal right by allowing Indiana undocumented students to pay resident rate tuition at public colleges and universities,” Fox says. “Keep our families and roads safe by granting driver certificates to undocumented immigrants.”
Fox is one of about a dozen people who rallied before the meeting.
The committee will meet five more times before it’s expected to send a report to the full legislature.