Senate vote hits illegal residents
The Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown yesterday on illegal immigrants and those who hire them, going further, senators said, than any immigration bill proposed over the past five years.
In a measure of just how politically potent illegal immigration has become, the Senate, on a 28-10 vote, replaced a far milder budget amendment it had passed Wednesday. The sweeping provision, if it makes it into law, would toughen or expand rules that bar illegal immigrants from public health care, housing, and higher education benefits.
The amendment would also clear the way for courts, the state attorney general, and even average citizens to get new tools, including an anonymous hot line, to report illegal immigrants or companies that employ them to the government.