Friday, February 22, 2008

Did House Republicans Kill Delph's Immigrant Labor Bill?

The Star's Bill Ruthhart's gives a good explanation of the complicated parliamentary maneuvering which took place in the House yesterday to control what happened to Sen. Mike Delph's legislation to crack down on employer's who hire undocumented workers. After the Democrats removed some of the more punitive measures within the legislation in committee earlier this week, they failed to hand down a committee report, which meant Delph's SB 335 died. Yesterday, the Democrats offered the watered down version of the legislation to another bill, SB 345, as a second reading amendment. This caught the Republicans off guard, who apparently wanted to go on an anti-immigrant binge and attach other, more punitive measures to the bill unrelated to employment. Suddenly, the legislation became all about immigrant bashing, which is exactly what Sen. Delph had been desperately trying to assure people his legislation was not about. The Republicans walked out, thereby bringing deliberations to a halt. House Speaker Pat Bauer had the House recess until Monday rather than adjourn, which will effectively kill attempts by Republicans to offer their amendments on Monday when the House returns. Here's part of the exchange Ruthhart shares in his story:

House Minority Leader Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, strongly objected to Bauer's decision, saying he broke the chamber's rules by not allowing GOP amendments. He accused Bauer of trying to kill the legislation, adding that his interpretation of the rules was "absolutely absurd."

"This is a cheap shot," Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, said of Bauer's decision. "There's times I'm ashamed to be a part of this body, and this is one of them."

Bosma said Republicans walked out so the matter could be delayed until Monday, when he said House rules would allow the GOP to offer amendments.

Bauer, however, placed the House in recess instead of adjourning after the Republicans refused to return to the chamber. Doing so, he said, would not allow Republicans to offer changes Monday.

Bauer accused Republicans of trying to push racist provisions. "We don't need a hate debate on this floor," he said.

Bauer said he acted within the rules of the House and said Republicans weren't trying to improve the immigration proposal, but instead "blow up" the bill.

"We didn't car-bomb anything," Bosma replied, noting that the proposal is still alive.
Republicans also denied their amendments were racist.

Delph said he was disappointed that politics in the House stalled his proposal and urged Republicans in that chamber not to expand the discussion on his bill from punishing employers to withholding benefits from illegal immigrants.

"They were trying to get other issues injected into this debate, and I didn't think that was appropriate," Delph said.

House boycotts are unusual, but not unprecedented. The last happened in 2005, when Democrats killed 130 bills in protest over proposals that required voters to show ID at the polls and created an inspector general for the governor.

Delph was obviously very disappointed at what House Republicans were trying to turn the debate into with their amendments. This is the same tactic the House GOP has employed successfully the last two sessions to kill hate crimes legislation--by offering poison pill amendments to prevent debate on the underlying proposal. As Ruthhart explained their amendments:

Some Republicans said Thursday they wanted to further amend and strengthen the bill by including provisions that would prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving state financial assistance for employment, college tuition and housing.

I think Sen. Delph will have a greater appreciation today of people's skepticism about his legislation. He may have sincere motives, but there are too many other legislators in the General Assembly who clearly want to stoke this issue for immigrant bashing purposes the same way they stoke the marriage amendment issue every year to bash gays.


Anonymous said...

I rarely praise Speaker Bauer, but sometimes, to kill hateful legislation, you perform rules handstands.

As in SJR7 and this ridiculous bill.

Rep. Bosma's pandering to his far right constituency, will not change things. He can have his own opinions, but he can't have his own facts.

Immigration has been and always should be a federal matter. Yes, they're effing it up, too, but why didn't the GOP do something about this when they had full Congressional control?

Why? Because their own president opposes most of their self-righteous provisions, that's why.

The tidal wave you see building across America, will likely result in a stronger Democratic U.S. House and Senate in 2009. If the Senate reaches 60 Dems, which is highly likely, ridiculous pandeirng legislation cannot get far.

So look for far-right wingnuts nationwide to start using legislatures, city councils, whatever they can, to further agendas like Eric Miller's.

I am more concerned about this property tax "fix" they've cooked up. If they spent appropriate time on that, and further studied the Kernan-Shepherd Commission report, we'd all be better off.

Anonymous said...

"We didn't car-bomb anything," Bosma replied

What in the world is this obsession with car-bombing for Indiana Republicans?

Anonymous said...

LOL 10:29--Bosma is not a deep thinker. He heard the phrase repeated once, likes it, and re-uses it over and over. Often inappropriately.

If someone U-tubed Bosma's 12-second soundbites on any number of subjects over the last 2-3 yrs., you'll see more similarities than the Obama-Mass. Governor thing.

He is a busy Minority Leader. Doesn't have time to come up with new ideas.

Anonymous said...

As a Repub, I have to agree. There has got to be a better way to identify with a political hijack, rather than using the term" car-bomb".

Unknown said...

I recommend a no holds barred CAGE MATCH between Bauer and Bosma, ref'd by Crawford (The ref always gets knocked out in cage matches) WINNER take all.....

I would pay to see that.....


Anonymous said...

Nah, let's just let a couple gays take Bosma on.. we've earned that right!

MissouriDemocrat said...

Bosma is a clone of Greg Garrison. If Greg says jump, Brian jumps. Greg is a clone of Rush Limbaugh who also cloned Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, etc etc. and they say they are against Stem Cells!

Anonymous said...

Not only do they have problems with the mandated E-Verify system, but it's BMV counterpart SAVE computer system manadated in the immigration bill for the REAL ID.

In a report last year from the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the groups assessed the SAVE system, which is currently used by 21 states. The groups found SAVE still has accuracy problems.“[I]nsufficient information is available for states to reliably identify and validate an individual’s ‘pending’ immigration status. States also report real-time verification is not attainable approximately one-quarter of the time, which necessitates a time-consuming process to meet this requirement,” according to the report. Though the SAVE verifications should take up to 20 working days at the most, it has taken two months for some verifications.

Though the Department of Homeland Security is mandating that States use SAVE to verify the immigration and citizenship status in the REAL ID system, the agency admits that SAVE may not be nationally deployed by the May 2008 deadline. After 11 years of implementation, the SAVE program remains unreliable and inaccurate. The system should not be deployed nationally or its use made mandatory until its many problems are resolved.

Anonymous said...

Code Words of Hate

Lou Dobbs- Racism isn't Real!

Anonymous said...

Indiana needs this legislation! I am sick and tired of going into a McDonald's crowded with illegal immigrant workers. Someone is hiring them. This mickey-mouse crap
has to stop.
Look, illegal immigration is a hot
button - screw around with this bill and you may be looking for a job next election.


Anonymous said...


I don't know why the word hate is used regarding this bill especially with perspective of joy and happiness and concern this bill has on anti-discrimination, assimilation, inclusion and diversity.

Anonymous said...


When I was a Special Agent with the former INS, we would have loved to have someone like you training us. I'm in awe of your ability to establish alienage and deportability just from waiting in line at McDonald's!

Wilson46201 said...

Dear Sarge,

Have you considered patronizing Hardees or Wendys instead?

I know better than to suggest Taco Bell to you...

Anonymous said...

Yes immigration SHOULD be a federal matter. If state dollars are going to illegals that is another matter

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:55 are you going to permit your son or daughter to work at McDonalds for minimum wage and no benefits on school nights and holidays........I think not!!!!