With one lawmaker citing President Lincoln's respect for the rule of law, the Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown this afternoon on illegal immigrants and those who would hire them, going further, senators said, than any immigration bill proposed over the past five years.Now even if a law like this is actually enacted, don't forget the esteemed Attorney General recently said it's not illegal to be an illegal in Massachusetts, so don't expect any robust enforcement, if any. And to be sure you could expect and army of ACLU types to descend like locusts filing asylum claims considering some rather recent precedent of a certain famous illegal alien. Then there's some formidable obstacles in the House to overcome, and if the attitude of certain Massholes is any indication, there's absolutely nothing that will change any minds.
In a surprising turn of events, the legislation replaced a narrower bill that was passed Wednesday over the objections of Republicans.
The measure, which passed on a 28-10 vote as an amendment to the budget, would bar the state from doing business with any company found to break federal laws barring illegal immigrant hiring. It would also toughen penalties for creating or using fake identification documents, and explicitly deny in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.
The amendment would also require the state’s public health insurance program to verify residency through the Department of Homeland Security, and would require the state to give legal residents priority for subsidized housing.
The amendment will now be part of negotiations with the House as part of the entire state budget.
Supporters, especially Republicans, struck patriotic notes and spoke of the sanctity of the law as they spoke on the Senate floor.
“It was President Lincoln -- and I’m going to paraphrase here -- who suggested that respect for the law should be preached from every pulpit taught by every mother to every child,” said Senator Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican.
But one supporter said that the measure was being passed for practical purposes and would hurt people.
Then again, even the dimmest of hacks can read polls, and this surely is an eye-opener.
Democrats had resisted such a sweeping proposal, but spent last evening negotiating today’s measure, shortly after a new polled showed 84 percent of the liberal-leaning state’s voters supported tough immigration rules barring state services to illegal immigrants.Plus, for a relatively small state it's not as if we're talking puny numbers.
Most immigrants in Massachusetts are here legally, but an estimated 190,000, or 20 percent, are here illegally, according to the census.Exit questions: How long until Patches Kennedy calls Massachusetts a slave state and when does Boston announce a boycott of Massachusetts?
Instapundit links. Thanks!