VIA| Indiana is already known as a tough state on illegal immigration, but a new bill that is set to pass would up the ante even further on businesses that employ illegal aliens. Republican State Sen. Mike Delph first introduced the legislation to general assembly, and if passed will give the government the ability to revoke business licenses from those who choose to employ this controversial group.
With 53,000 of the 93,000 undocumented workers in Indiana employed, this bill could have massive repercussions on the state’s work force. So what happens when all this cheap labor suddenly become illegal?
Right now, a business in Indiana caught hiring undocumented workers on purpose will be stripped of tax breaks and fined by the federal government. While those penalties are steep, it clearly hasn’t been enough to discourage business from hiring these much-cheaper employees.
“It’s a much more severe consequence, and it’s the right consequence,” Delph said to theIndy Star. “We need to root out this shadow world that exists where people think they’re coming into American freedom but really live in modern day American slavery.”
Despite widespread support from other politicians, the gesture has not been met with approval by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce – the representative for local businesses. Chamber President Kevin Brinegar agrees, saying, “We vehemently oppose it. The punishment is too stringent for the crime.”
Others are also complaining that the law unfairly targets minority business owners, putting them under greater scrutiny than ever before. To counter any bias, Delph made sure to include a provision that anyone who files a false complaint about an undocumented worker at a business with a misdemeanor.
“We’re certainly not trying to target any specific group,” he continued. “We’re trying to go after those that financially benefit from intentionally breaking the law.”
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