Louisiana on Thursday become the latest state begin a march toward enacting tougher immigration laws, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Friday.
State Rep. Joe Harrison
, a Republican from Napoleonville, introduced a measure to restrict the hiring, transporting or granting of public benefits to illegal immigrants called “The Louisiana Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2011.”
Harrison said he will "be going all out this year" to pass it. "We are not going to let up," he said.
He has introduced a similar bill in the past only to have it defeated.
The bill says illegal immigration "has resulted in economic hardship and lawlessness within the state and that illegal immigration is encouraged when public agencies provide public benefits without verifying immigration status."
Harrison said he’s not targeting legal immigrants, but he wants to make sure that illegal immigrants are not taking jobs from Louisiana residents at a time when jobs are scarce.
"If people are legal, I have no problem with that," Harrison said. "If they are illegal and working cheaply, it undercuts the idea of helping our people get jobs."
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