House committee approves border security bill

| Monday, December 12, 2005

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday, Dec. 8, that would, if passed by Congress, strengthen requirements for employers to check the immigration status of job applicants and would also make it a crime to reside in the U.S. illegally.

Currently, illegal immigration is only a violation of civil statutes and is not classified as a crime.

The bill, sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-WI, would also increase penalties for violations of immigration law and for smuggling illegal immigrants into the country, according to Congressional Quarterly.

In addition, the bill would require federal reimbursement for sheriff’s departments in the 29 counties along the Mexican border for apprehending and jailing illegal immigrants.

The bill is due for consideration before the full House the week of Dec. 11.

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