Illegal Immigrant Bill Clears House Hurdle

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The Montana House gave initial approval to a bill banning illegal immigrants from receiving workers’ compensation insurance benefits.

The measure was endorsed on a 60-40 vote Tuesday and faces a largely procedural final vote Wednesday before going to the Senate.

Backers of the proposal argue it sends a message to those wrongly employing illegal immigrants.

Opponents countered that the workers will still get injured, and hospitals will be left picking up the tab for treating them in emergencies.

Insurance officials say there may be only a handful of such cases a year in Montana.

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