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Massachusetts Senate Passes Immigration Enforcement Legislation

author Published by Admins

On May 25th, the Massachusetts Senate passed several immigration enforcement measures as part of state budget legislation. It’s likely that most of these provisions will clear the legislature since many were included in the version the House passed.The House-passed measures would:Increase penalties for unlicensed driving, hiring unlicensed drivers, and producing fraudulent licenses;Require vehicle registrants to have a Social Security Number;Require non-citizen applicants for public assistance (e.g., public housing) and unemployment benefits to be checked for eligibility using the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system; andRe-affirm using the SAVE system for vetting MassHealth program eligibility.The initial bill introduced in the Senate Ways and Means Committee excluded these provisions but Senators re-inserted them on the floor and added language requiring state contractors to vet new hires through the E-Verify programThe wide-ranging budget bill will now be reconciled with the House before the Legislature delivers a compromise to Governor Deval Patrick for his signature. The Massachusetts governor has amendatory veto power, though, so Patrick could veto some or all of the enforcement measures while keeping the rest of the bill intact. 

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