An Indiana Senate committee will examine immigration issues in the state according to the advice of two lawyers behind some of the strictest proposals against undocumented immigrants.
One is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the person who recently suggested to Republican candidate Donald Trump to build a wall on Mexico’s border and make the country pay for it. Kobach also helped form Arizona’s and Alabama’s immigration laws, considered some of the toughest in the country.
The other lawyer will be Dale Wilcox, executive director of Immigration Reform Law Institute, a nonprofit organization which supports immigration restrictions and has strongly opposed President Obama’s own immigration policies.
The two will provide background on state and federal immigration law at the inaugural meeting of Indiana’s immigration committee. The committee plans to hold six meetings and form recommendations for state immigration policy, both for legal and illegal immigration.
Republican Senate leader Mike Delph will be directing the committee and it will “take a fair and deliberate approach to studying the effects of illegal and legal immigration in Indiana.”
Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lenane, however, said the committee has been created as a sounding board for anti-immigration policies, and “rather than kicking off this series of committee meetings by including all stakeholders, leadership has invited two of the most controversial and dangerous voices in immigration policy to date.”
In 2008, Delph unsuccessfully pushed to require employers to use the federal government’s E-Verify system to check workers’ immigration status, and in 2011 helped pass an immigration law that allowed the arrests of people whose immigration status was questionable.
Delph said he is seeking an update on how much the state spends to support undocumented immigrants, with Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels’ administration estimated that undocumented immigrants cost $130 million in public dollars on expenses such as public schools, state prisons, and health care.
What effect these two lawyers will have on the state’s future policies and the country at large awaits to be seen.