Bill Advances to Ban Illegals from State Work

JANUARY 23, 2007 - Posted at 3:48 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A proposal banning state agencies from contracting with businesses that employ illegal immigrants was advanced by a House committee today.

The House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor endorsed the measure by Representative Rick Green, a Republican from Van Buren.

The bill would require contractors and subcontractors doing work for the state to verify the status of a worker by checking the name in a federal database.

Green told fellow lawmakers that the proposal would let taxpayers know that the state if following the law.

Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says she's worried the proposal would promote workplace discrimination against Hispanics.

Green's proposal had failed before the same committee earlier this month.  But Green amended the bill to work on the wording.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)