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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Immigration battle could flare up at Indiana Statehouse"

Dan Carden of the NWI Times reported Sept. 22:

INDIANAPOLIS | The debates over immigration and public policy that have roiled the Republican presidential contest may similarly divide lawmakers and provoke controversy next year at the Indiana General Assembly.

Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, vowed Monday to push for action by the Republican-controlled institution on a package of education, driver's license and health care legislation endorsed by Latino leaders. * * *

Among the measures set to be filed by Senate Democrats is a plan to permit undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children and graduated from an Indiana high school, after attending for at least three years, to pay resident tuition at public universities. * * *

Also on the Democrats' Latino agenda is authorizing the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to ignore citizenship and legal status in issuing driver's licenses, to ensure only qualified and insured motorists are operating vehicles on Indiana roads — an idea long-championed by state Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond.

Ten states, including Illinois, already permit residents to obtain a driver's license without regard to their immigration status. More than 85,000 Illinois temporary visitor driver's licenses have been issued since 2013.

Democrats additionally will propose providing undocumented immigrants with diabetes access to kidney dialysis care through Medicaid, instead of waiting for end-stage renal disease to take hold before providing assistance.

"It would be much cheaper for us as a state to actually provide ongoing treatment for those individuals without them having to demonstrate that they are at death's door," Lanane said. "It also, of course, would be the humane things to do."

Democrats face an uphill climb to enact these proposals since they control just 10 of the 50 seats in the Indiana Senate.

The Republican supermajority generally has resisted immigration-related measures after adopting a harsh, Arizona-style illegal immigration law in 2011 that mostly was struck down by federal courts.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence last year also sued the federal government seeking to end President Barack Obama's deferred action program for undocumented child immigrants.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 23, 2015 09:18 AM
Posted to Indiana Government