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The Indiana Senate Passes Immigration Bill

The state of Indiana passed an immigration bill (the vote was 31-18) that may encourage racial profiling. Racial profiling occurs when law enforcement officials assume a person may be guilty of committing a crime based on their ethnic background, explains a senator. State officials who support the bill maintain that racial profiling will not occur if this bill becomes state law.

While many in the State Senate support the bill, there are many small and large businesses such as Eli Lilly and Co. and Cummins, Inc. that do not support the bill. Many businesses in Indiana fear a decline in business conferences, trade shows and other commerce events due to the fear that participants in these events may be subject to racial profiling. Some out-of-state businesses have already canceled plans to hold company events in Indiana because of the potential for racial profiling and harassment. This has nothing to do with drug possession.

The piece of legislation, called the “Immigration Matters” bill, would require, among other things, all legal documents and hearings be presented in English only. The bill also states that local law enforcement would have added responsibility to enforce the federal immigration laws, which could lead to additional work by departments and personnel.

The “Immigration Matters” bill was authored by Indiana State Senator Mike Delph, R-Carmel. Delph was absent during the senate vote, however, because he was taking the state bar exam. The bar exam is given to those who want to legally practice law in their state, said a professor. Senator Delph claims that the bill will not encourage racial profiling and only serves to reinforce existing state and federal laws regarding immigration. Some in the Senate now fear additional lawsuits and other legal action if the bill becomes law.

Not all senators felt the bill should pass. Five Republican senators joined Democratic senators in voting down the bill. And even though the bill passed through the State Senate, it still needs to pass through the Indiana State House of Representatives to become law, reports a station.

Those who support the bill say their intentions are to protect Indiana from threats or acts of terrorism from those coming to the United States via Mexican borders. Supporters like those in Brooklyn and Staten Island also say they are concerned that more illegal immigrants will take away jobs from U.S. citizens, increase taxes and cause a lowering of wages because local businesses pay for cheaper labor when hiring illegal immigrants.

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