2008 January 08 Tuesday
Minnesota Governor Proposes Illegal Immigrant Crackdown

Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota has just signed a series of executive orders designed to crack down on illegal aliens and the employment thereof.

Among the executive orders Pawlenty signed:

• Minnesota law enforcement officers will work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to help enforce immigration laws. Seifert said that’s primarily state-level law enforcement, such as Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

• New state employees and contractors doing business with the state will be required to verify their citizenship through an Internet-based system operated by the federal government, known as E-Verify.

• The Department of Public Safety will conduct a review of Minnesota’s driver’s license database to catch duplicate photos and study them for possible fraud.

• The DPS will conduct summits for law enforcement, including local law enforcement officers, to provide training in targeting criminal activity related to illegal immigration.

The legislative parts of his proposal face an uphill battle.

He also proposed several measures that lawmakers would have to approve, including stiffer penalties for identity theft and a ban on so-called sanctuary ordinances that prevent police from asking about immigration status. He described his ideas as "reasonable steps to help combat illegal immigration."

"These are legitimate concerns both in Minnesota and across the country. Other states are moving to address them and we have been as well, but more needs to be done," Pawlenty said, flanked by GOP lawmakers, police chiefs and state commissioners.

Most of Pawlenty's illegal immigration plan failed two years ago, when Republicans controlled the House. Prospects for the latest package appear even worse now that Democrats rule both legislative chambers. Key Democrats were panning the plan minutes after the governor's news conference wrapped up.

Growing popular support for illegal immigration crackdowns have turned similar proposals into state law in other states. Maybe trends in Minnesota will eventually result in enough pressure on the state legislature to get these proposals passed as well.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 January 08 11:38 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement


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