Kentucky immigration bill is stricter than Arizona's law

The Lexington Herald-LeaderJanuary 5, 2011 

FRANKFORT — Opponents of an immigration bill filed Tuesday by Senate Republicans say it goes even further than a controversial Arizona law that has been challenged in federal court by President Barack Obama's administration.

Senate Bill 6 was one of several filed Tuesday that is backed by GOP leaders, who have said they hope to pass the measure by the end of this week. Other bills filed Tuesday include a proposal to create a panel that would recommend changes to the state's tax system and bills to tweak state pensions and election laws.

Those who oppose the immigration bill — which would allow police to ask if a person was in the country legally — began to rally against SB 6 on Tuesday, saying it appears to be more onerous than Arizona's immigration law. A judge has issued an injunction halting parts of the Arizona law, including the part that allows police to stop people and verify their immigration documents.

Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, said Tuesday he would be open to hearing from anyone who has concerns about the bill.

Rev. Pat Delahanty, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, said the Kentucky measure includes a provision that would allow law enforcement to arrest an illegal immigrant for trespassing. The punishment for trespassing could range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class C or Class D felony.

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