House Backs Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The state House has endorsed two more measures aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

Lawmakers voted 52-48 Wednesday to penalize businesses that hire illegal immigrants. The bill would require companies to use a federal immigration database or risk fines if they are caught employing the workers.

Critics pointed out that business owners are worried the regulation and new enforcement mechanism could be abused. Supporters say it is needed to make sure companies don’t hire illegal workers.

The House also endorsed another plan in a 56-43 vote that would ban state agencies from providing services to illegal immigrants. Opponents argue that emergency responders and others would have a hard time figuring out how to enforce the proposed law.

Both face a final House vote on Thursday.

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