(STATEHOUSE) Jan. 26, 2009 - State Reps. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) and Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) have announced the filing of House Bill 1488, a bill that requires state agencies to verify the lawful presence in the United States of certain individuals who apply for public benefits. In addition, employers would be required to use the E-Verify system to confirm the legal status of its employees.
Under the bill, unauthorized residents who attempt to apply for public benefits would be charged with a Class D felony. Additionally, the bill broadens the authority of law enforcement officials when dealing with employers of unauthorized residents.
"I believe, given these especially though times, that public benefits must only be given to Hoosiers," said Rep. Dermody. "We simply cannot afford to be freely giving taxpayer benefits away to people who are not legal residents of this country. This legislation would go a long way in guaranteeing that."
"This is still a big problem," said Rep. Eberhart. "We haven't heard enough about it this session. This is still a major issue, and Hoosiers are calling for action. People want to know what is being done about it, and it needs to be addressed."
Rep. Dermody sits on the House Ways & Means and Small Business and Economic Development committees. For questions or comments regarding this session, he can be reached at h20@IN.gov, or by phone at 1-800-382-9841.
Rep. Eberhart sits on the Environmental Affairs, Local Government and Natural Resources committees. For questions or comments regarding this session, he can be reached at h57@IN.gov, or by phone at 1-800-382-9841.