Bill Making it Illegal to Hire Illegal Immigrants is Killed by State Senate
A bill that makes it against the law in South Dakota to hire illegal immigrants failed to pass the state Senate. Senator Craig Tieszen is a prime sponsor of the measure. He says the bill prohibits employers from knowingly and intentionally hiring an illegal alien. He says businesses that go online and use the federal E-Verify program get a free pass. Supporters say the bill helps fight unfair, dishonest business practices. But opponents like Senator Angie Buhl say the bill goes against federal regulations.
"We are prohibited as a state for any state or local law enforcement imposing civil or criminal sanctions other than through licensing and similar laws upon those who employ unauthorized aliens," Buhl says. "I think this is very, very clear. We as a state don't have the power to provide criminal or civil sanctions against employers who do that, who hire undocumented workers, which is exactly what Senate Bill 155 tends to do."
Opponents also worried the bill placed an unfair burden on small businesses. The Senate voted ten to 19 to kill the measure.
By Jenifer Jones
Click here to download audio.