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 Post subject: Lafayette City Council Passes Buck on Illegal Aliens
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:55 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Council: Immigration a federal concern
City unresponsive to proposal

By CURT SLYDER
cslyder@journalandcourier.com

A Lafayette citizen wants city officials to set an example for other cities by adopting a measure aimed at punishing those who aid illegal aliens.

Bill Sipple asked the Lafayette City Council on Monday to adopt an ordinance to help stem the tide of illegal immigration.

After some comments from the audience and several council members, no official action was taken.

"If you enter this country by sneaking past the border patrol, you have committed a federal crime," Sipple said. "Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to begin a small step on a long walk back to common sense."

His proposed measure would strip the business license of any business that knowingly hires an illegal alien and would impose a $5,000 fine on landlords who knowingly rent to illegal aliens.

His measure also called for making English the city's official language.

"In some respects, I agree with the gentleman. Immigration, illegal immigration, is something that we need to take care of," said Ivan Hernandez, president of the Latino Coalition of Tippecanoe County. But calling illegal immigrants criminals "isn't the right way," he said.

"It's clear that this is a topic of great interest," city attorney Ed Chosnek said. However, "this is clearly a federal question," he said, adding he thought it would be inappropriate for council members to act on any immigration legislation.

"There's already a law, and they're not paying any attention to it," Betty Nugent of Lafayette said. "What are the citizens of the United States supposed to do?"

Councilman Jack Rhoda, R-District 4, said he thought the idea should be sent to the council's ordinance committee for further discussion and to allow more public input. No other council members expressed agreement.

Councilman Steve Meyer, D-At Large, said that would not be appropriate, since city officials did not come up with the proposed legislation. "Like it or not, it is a federal issue."

The meeting adjourned without any action being taken.


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