The bill initially required police to ask for proof of citizenship in situations like routine traffic stops if they had a suspicion the driver was not a legal citizen. Legislators removed that clause and language mandating public documents be only in English. Bill author Mike Delph says there is still plenty of good in the legislation.
“E-verify is a very positive step,” says Delph. ” Having the state of Indiana on record with the human trafficking is a very positive step. Maintaining our strong stance against sanctuary cities is a very strong step.”
But it’s now the e-Verify system that’s drawing concerns from some legislators. E-Verify is a federal database employers can use to ensure new hires are legal. The bill would make e-Verify mandatory for all employers in Indiana. Michigan City Representative Scott Pelath says he’s not sold.
“The e-Verify system, which is now the central part of the bill, I’m not convinced that all the technical kinks have been worked out of it,” says Pelath.
Some who testified before the committee said e-Verify fails in 54 percent of cases; others said it is 94 percent accurate. Pelath says he supports the idea, but wants to ensure it won’t wrongly deny people work. The bill passed the committee six to five.