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The Ohio Senate

Bill Harris, President

The Ohio House of Representatives

Jon Husted, Speaker


Thursday, August 3, 2006

  Ohio House and Senate Leaders Announce

Illegal Alien Enforcement Act

Initiatives Highlight Employment, Enforcement and Benefit Protections

 Columbus Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted (R- Kettering) and Ohio Senate President Bill Harris (R- Ashland) today announced plans to craft the Ohio Workforce Protection and Illegal Alien Enforcement Act – a set of initiatives aimed at cracking down on illegal aliens to protect Ohio jobs, tax dollars and publicly funded benefits.

 “Let me be clear, this package supports legal immigrants, aids in their learning of the language and protects them from issues associated with the presence of illegal aliens in our shared communities,” Husted said.

 The legislative package, which leaders expect to come together in the coming days, will include a number of provisions designed to strengthen employment and hiring standards, provide law enforcement with more resources to fight illegal aliens and limit state resources utilized for illegal aliens.

 “As Congress is poised to break for the summer, and the federal government continues to grapple with how best to handle the national problems associated with illegal immigration, we feel there are things that can be done now on the state level to help enforce existing laws and preserve taxpayer-funded programs for Ohioans,” Harris said.

 Provisions of the Workforce Protection and Illegal Alien Enforcement Act are crafted in a “follow the LAW” format – highlighting the initiatives of Law enforcement, Assistance programs and Worker protections.


Law Enforcement: Providing Tools and Resources

·        Provide state funding for an Ohio full-time investigative office. This new office would be Ohio ’s liaison with federal immigration enforcement officials and would be tasked with helping to ensure employers are following immigration laws.

·        Create of an Immigration Ombudsman to help immigrants understand and comply with law.

·        Impose a $50,000 civil fine for counterfeiting identification documents for the purposes of committing immigration fraud.

·        Require the state of Ohio to pursue an agreement with the federal government to allow state law enforcement officers to arrest undocumented immigrants solely for being in the country illegally.

·        Require the state of Ohio to pursue an agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State to recover state and local government costs incurred during any arrest, incarceration or detainment of illegal aliens.

·        Deny all illegal aliens from obtaining a handgun permit.

 Assistance Programs: Protecting Public and Legal Services

·        Require state agencies and political subdivisions to verify the lawful presence of any adult when awarding public benefits, excepting, but not limited to, disaster relief, emergency medical care, public defenders, and in-kind services like food pantries.

·        Ensure illegal aliens are not eligible for in-state tuition rates, scholarships or financial aid at public higher education institutions in Ohio . The proposal would also prohibit workforce development funds from being used to train illegal aliens.

·        Require notaries to notify clients that they do not offer immigration law services.

·        Require courts to advise defendants who are illegal aliens of deportation consequences when pleading guilty to criminal offenses.

·        Prohibit bail-bonding agents from posting bail for defendants known to be in the U.S. illegally.


Worker Protections: Strengthening Standards and Protecting Ohio Jobs

·        Prohibit state agencies and political subdivisions from entering into contracts with contractors who knowingly employ illegal aliens and require prospective contractors to verify the legal work status of each of its employees.

·        Prohibit the use of illegal alien labor on projects financed through grants or loans from the state.

·        Prohibit a contractor from doing business with the state for two years if the contractor knowingly employs illegal aliens.


The package unveiled by Ohio lawmakers does not mark the first time legislators have addressed the issue of illegal aliens and citizenship. Recently members of the Ohio House voted on a bill to require individuals to provide proof of citizenship before receiving Medicaid benefits. Additionally, both chambers approved a measure which would count only citizens for the purposes of representation in Congress.

“Admittedly states have limited jurisdiction and options for addressing the national illegal alien crisis,” Husted said. “However, we would be shirking our responsibilities to legal immigrants and natural born citizens if we did not take action within these limitations.”

Harris and Husted have indicated further details of the Ohio Workforce Protection and Illegal Alien Enforcement Act will be researched in the coming days and hope to begin hearings on the various initiatives in the weeks to come.


For further information please contact Maggie Ostrowski, Ohio Senate, at (614) 995-1280 or Karen Tabor, Ohio House at (614) 466-0863  

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