This will be fairly short. SB 81 easily passed the Senate yesterday (click here for Senator’s votes).
However, Sen. Jenkins amendment succeeded on voice vote (ie no record of who voted for it). The amendment delays provisions until July 1, 2009. This gives legislators etc another year (and session) to spin reasons not to take action and, possibly, spike this bill in the next session.
Provisions affected by this include:
1. State and local governments will not have to verify employment eligibility for another year. Apparently, we need to wait another year for even the government to check if a prospective employee is using a stolen identity. Note: the provision requiring state contractors to verify eligibility was already set to 2009 by the bill sponsor.
2. Criminal illegal immigrants booked into prison will not have their status checked and be turned over to ICE until 2009. That means they can/will still be turned back out onto our streets.
3. You can lay-off a legal worker and replace that worker with an illegal worker with no State consequences until mid 2009.
4. Illegal immigrants can continue to receive taxpayer funded public benefits until mid 2009.
For the full list of affected measures go to the bill text and read the ‘Highlighted Provisions’ section (lines 11 through 63). Note: the link is to the original bill, prior to amendment (the amended bill text is still unavailable).
In terms of the voice vote, I understand that Senators Jenkins, Stephenson, and Killpack joined with Democrats in delaying implementation. However, they are not the only Republicans that did so. I will try to get a full list. In the meantime, contact your Senator and ask how they voted on the Jenkins amendment (feel free to let me know their response).
So on to the House we go. Again, contact (801-538-1029) your Representative (Rep lookup) and ask them to support this bill and that the only acceptable amendment would be to strike Senator Jenkins amendment unnecessarily delaying implementation off until July, 2009.
Depending how things fair in the House, soon you will also want to contact Governor Huntsmanb (801-538-1000) who’s administration is poor on this subject.
Finally, for further background on this bill please see Help With SB 81 – Illegal Immigration.