INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana House and Senate approved anti-illegal immigration legislation Friday that was significantly watered down compared to the original version.
Senate Bill 590, which now goes to the governor, requires most Indiana businesses check the immigration status of new employees, forbids distribution of state aid to illegal immigrants and prohibits local governments from refusing to abide by federal immigration law.
As introduced, the legislation would have required a police officer to check the immigration status of any person the officer suspected was in the country illegally.
While the Republican-controlled Senate approved that provision, it was removed by the Republican-controlled House after concerns were expressed by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana businesses and tourism officials.
State Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, the sponsor of the legislation, said he was satisfied with the final version.
"Lawmakers today sent a clear message that Indiana will no longer be a sanctuary for people who are in our state and country illegally because of our federal government's failure to act on illegal immigration," Delph said.
The compromise legislation was approved 68-30 by the House and 35-15 by the Senate.