The Indiana Senate’s study committee on immigration met six times this year and issued zero recommendations at its final meeting. The committee chair says that’s largely because of Tuesday’s election results.
Members of the study committee, such as Sen. Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville) expressed frustration at the final meeting over the state’s inability to enact wholesale change on immigration.
“I think it behooves us to talk to our federal legislators and administrators to see if there’s some way that they can take this on,” Boots says. “Because they haven’t done it – that’s why we have to deal with this.”
Committee Chair Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) says he’s never been more hopeful the feds will step up.
“I don’t think there’s any question that President-elect Trump has very strong views in the area of immigration and national security,” Delph says. “I anticipate that a lot of the concerns that have been raised and a lot of the issues that have been raised will be addressed at the federal level of government.”
Delph was asked if he expects President-elect Donald Trump to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico.
“I think President-elect Donald Trump has promised a lot of things to the American people and I take him at his word that he will fulfill all of his promises,” he says.
Sen. Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) says he learned a lot through the committee but cautions about rhetoric when discussing illegal immigration.
“And we can’t treat them as animals or that they’re evil or gangsters or so,” Mrvan says.
Mrvan says Senate Democrats will offer proposals next session that include providing driver’s licenses to immigrants who are in the country illegally.