The Kentucky House and Senate have passed bills to help eliminate illegal immigration in the state.
House Bill 3 would require employers who receive public funding to use the federal government’s E-Verify system when hiring workers.
Senate Bill 6 is similar in nature to Arizona’s immigration law, and would allow police to ask for a person’s immigration status during a “lawful contact” according to Fox Louisville affiliate WDRB. Under this bill, any illegal immigrants could be charged with trespassing, while anyone who assists an illegal immigrant can be charged with aiding and abetting.
“Its purpose is save jobs in Kentucky for Kentuckians,” state Rep. Mike Cherry (D), the sponsor of HB 3, told The Louisville Courier-Journal.
There are other Democrats in support of the bill. State Rep. Bob Damron told the Courier-Journal that it’s the best policy to use.
“It’s really the most efficient way states can address the illegal immigration issue,” he said.
The senate bill is in a more precarious state. Many media outlets have given it a price tag between $40 million and $90 million.
Despite that number, Kentucky Republicans are still in support of the measure, saying that it’s time to do something because the federal government hasn’t enforced immigration laws.
“In all fairness, I think we’ve given Congress a fair time to do something and they haven’t done it, and it’s the states that are suffering and it’s the jails that are suffering, it’s the citizens that are suffering,” state Rep. Stan Lee (R) told Fox 41.
However, the Hispanic community in Kentucky is furious over the bills. They say they’ve lived and worked in Kentucky just like everyone else and deserve to be treated fairly.
“Twenty-seven years ago I was living in extreme poverty, which caused me at age 15 to make a decision to leave my family in search of a better life,“ Carlos Rico, a member of Laborers International Union in Louisville, told The Lexington Herald-Leader.
“Thank the Lord; I accomplished my goal,” Rico said. “In 27 years living in this country, I have worked in the fields picking vegetables. I have worked in the city building bridges and roads.”