"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pennsylvania Lawmakers addressing Illegal Immigration at the State level

Doing it at the local level because our tax dollars don't actually buy anything. Maybe these guys can talk to the AG of MA, not that it would make any difference. Bottom line is that lacking rewards tends to demotivate people to do something - it's about time we put our money where our laws mouth is.

Cross posted from Morning Coffee:

From The Daily Item

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania should toughen its employment and welfare laws so illegal aliens have less incentive to come here, a coalition of state lawmakers said Tuesday.

The lawmakers, including Rep. Robert Belfanti, D-107 of Mount Carmel, want state officials to verify the status of immigrants before providing them with benefits and prosecute employers who hire illegal workers. Under one bill, an employer would be fined $1,000 for knowingly hiring an illegal alien.

Their call for action marks the emergence of illegal immigration as a major issue in Harrisburg. Statewide hearings will be held this summer on the immigration bills.

The lawmakers said state action is needed to curb illegal immigration because the federal government, particularly Immigration and Customs Enforcement, isn't doing the job.

The coalition is loose-knit, and lawmakers are stressing different approaches as a way to curb illegal immigration.

Mr. Belfanti proposes bills to expand the power of state and county prosecutors to arrest and detain illegal workers, requiring state licensing of building contractors and requiring employers to prove their employees are U.S. citizens.

Specifically, Mr. Belfanti would give the state attorney general and county district attorneys power to arrest and detain illegal workers up to 30 days.

If this proposal was already state law, said Mr. Belfanti, Northumberland County District Attorney Anthony Rosini could have detained illegal workers discovered on the job last week during a raid of a shopping center construction site on Route 61 in Coal Township.

"Contractors who hire these illegals know all the tricks, and our inability to arrest and detain illegal workers at construction sites means these hit-and-run contractors are too often already long gone by the time the federal government arrives," Mr. Belfanti added.

Another lawmaker, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, has a bill to prohibit state agencies from providing benefits — ranging from food stamps to public school enrollment — to illegal aliens.

"If we turn off the spigot of public benefits and jobs "¦ they will go home on their own," said Mr. Metcalfe.

Rep. Tom Creighton, R-Lancaster, has bills to give the state police authority to enforce federal immigration laws and require county and municipal prison wardens to determine the nationality and immigration status of any individual charged with a felony or drunken driving.

The proposals won an endorsement from Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, who is gaining national attention on this issue. Mr. Barletta is pushing a city ordinance to revoke the business licenses of companies that hire illegal workers, fine landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and make English the official language of the city.

It is good to see that State officials starting to get the message. Perhaps those who support the Senate Shamnesty bill will begin to see the light someday too.

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.**

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