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Curry signs petition leaving immigration reform to feds

March 1, 2011

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Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced today that he signed a petition that encourages Indiana lawmakers to leave immigration reform to the federal government.

Several groups organized the “Indiana Compact” because of concerns regarding Senate Bill 590, which would impose wide-ranging immigration reforms that some consider to be unnecessary and potentially unconstitutional, and many local leaders have signed it.

In a press release issued this afternoon, Curry said he signed the compact because he fears the cost of enforcing immigration reform would be too great and that the law might dissuade some victims from reporting crime.

“If this legislation passes, it will add to the reluctance of Latino victims and witnesses to come forward,” Curry said in the press release. “Not only will this legislation have a chilling effect on our efforts to prosecute these cases, it also will make a vulnerable population even more vulnerable.”

Curry joins an ever-growing list of people and organizations who have signed the compact, which outlines five platforms for responsible reform.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller signed the compact in February, along with several education, business and religious leaders from around the state.

The legislation passed the Senate by a 31-18 vote in February and is headed to the House for consideration.

The number of signatures on the compact had reached nearly 2,600 this afternoon.
If it becomes law, the bill would require state and local police to ask a person they have stopped for a violation for proof of legal residence, but only if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” the person is not a citizen or is in the country illegally. It also would set an “English-only” rule for most governmental documents and hearings.

Arizona passed a similar law that’s now being challenged by the federal government.

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