A crackdown on illegal immigrants has been passed by the Indiana Senate despite the objections of officials such as Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.
Senate Bill 590, authored by Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel), received 31 ayes and 18 nays Tuesday. It now heads to the Indiana House of Representatives.
Sen. Johnny Nugent (R-Lawrenceburg) was among those voting in favor of the bill.
The measure is similar to one passed in Arizona, which would have local police enforcing federal immigration law. Officers would be allowed to ask a person for proof of their immigration status if they have reasonable suspicion that they are in the country illegally.
The Indianapolis Star reports some businesses have already heard from conventions, prospective employees and conferences who said if the measure becomes law they will not come to the state.
On Monday, the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns joined a compact against SB 590, stating enforcing immigration law is a federal issue that the state should stay out of. The association’s board members voted to join the compact.
More than 460 municipalities around the state are members of the association, including many in southeast Indiana.
Governor Mitch Daniels has been mum on the issue. The governor has been rumored as a possible GOP candidate to run for president in 2012 and critics say he needs to tell which side of the immigration argument he is on.