Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Indiana's Proposed Response to Undocumented Immigrants (Update 2)

I haven't written much about the pending immigration legislation since my previous posts last month. The bill (and the revised version that has been grafted onto another bill) has been the subject of much debate and has been in the press quite a bit. The bill, grafted onto Senate Bill 345 has now been passed by the Indiana House and sent back to the Indiana Senate for approval. Some of my initial concerns with SB335 have been addressed in SB345; however, I continue to have grave concerns with the proposed legislation, both in terms of its aims and the means by which it seeks to achieve those aims.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time (or, for that matter, the inclination) to get into the detailed specifics of my continued concerns with the bill. However, I did want to take a moment to commend The Indianapolis Star for the editorial position taken in the March 5, 2008 edition. In the editorial "Election-year rush job would be big blunder", the editorial board of The Indianapolis Star concludes:

Take time to address the constitutional issues at stake. Work with business leaders to draft a plan that protects companies from being forced to use a flawed system. Give the federal government another chance to take care of its obligations.

But don't rush, in the passion of an election year, into enacting a law that would violate the Constitution, harm workers here legally and punish businesses unnecessarily.

Hopefully, the Indiana General Assembly will follow this suggestion. For, as the editorial also recognizes, adopting the proposed immigration bill, even with its noted flaws, "may be good politics, but it's not a responsible way to set policy".

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