State Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford), a national leader among state legislators on the issue of illegal immigration, has filed legislation that would make Indiana law the toughest in the nation.
"Legal immigration helped build America," Rep. Koch said in announcing the filing of House Bill 1225. "However, the federal government has failed in its constitutional duty to defend our borders, and we are now faced with more than 12 million illegal aliens in the country and an estimated 80,000 right here in Indiana."
House Bill 1225, authored by Rep. Koch, contains provisions that would cut off non-emergency public benefits for illegal aliens, and penalize employers who knowingly employ them and those who transport, conceal, harbor or shelter illegal aliens. Other provisions of the bill would prohibit so-called sanctuary cities - cities and towns whose police or municipal employees are not permitted to inquire about the immigration status of those within the city limits - in Indiana, require law enforcement to determine the citizenship status of those charged with crimes, prohibit financial institutions from providing financial services to those not lawfully present in the United States, revoke the nonprofit status of any nonprofit corporation providing assistance to those illegally in the country, and requiring the state police to enter into a pilot project with the federal government designed for the aggressive enforcement of federal immigration and customs laws in the state.
"As we have already seen happening in Arizona, cutting off the economic incentives that attract illegal aliens will cause them to self-deport," said Rep. Koch. "Indiana taxpayers should not have to bear the cost of the federal government's failures."
Earlier this year, Rep. Koch joined legislators from 24 other states to co-found State Legislators for Legal Immigration. The organization's website is http://www.statelegislatorsforlegalimmigration.com/ . Rep. Koch's legislation can be viewed online through his website at www.in.gov/h65.
Rep. Koch serves House District 65, which includes parts of Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson and Lawrence counties.