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Pawlenty's immigration plan

  • January 4, 2006 - 12:58 AM

Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s proposal to curb illegal immigration includes the following elements:

• Establish a 10-member Minnesota Illegal Immigration Enforcement Team that would be federally trained and authorized to question, detain and arrest suspected illegal immigrants.

• Override city ordinances in Minneapolis and St. Paul that prohibit police officers from taking action against illegal immigrants unless they are arrested for a separate crime. Pawlenty said the ordinances violate federal law.

• Put into law a 2002 state administrative rule that prominently marks driver’s licenses of legal foreign visitors with their visa expiration dates. That proposal was a central theme of the Republican governor’s 2002 election campaign, but it was blocked by the DFL-controlled Senate. The Department of Public Safety under Gov. Jesse Ventura implemented the license designation by administrative rule and it continues in force.

• Toughen and add penalties for possession, creation and sale of false IDs. Currently, it is not a crime in Minnesota to possess a false ID unless an intent to commit a crime can be proven.

• Require officers to note the citizenship and immigration status of all arrestees at booking.

• Increase felony penalties for human trafficking when minors are exploited to up to 20 years in prison. In addition, a task force would be set up to seek ways to combat human trafficking.

• Add a state fine of as much as $5,000 to a current federal penalty of $11,000 for employers who knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants. In addition, state contracts would prohibit the use of illegal immigrants to perform contracted services.

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