HARRISBURG—Illegal immigration is a hot topic around the country and now in Pennsylvania. State Representative Daryl Metcalfe will unveil a proposed law that would toughen the state's stance on illegal aliens.
If the Republican legsilator from Butler County gets his way, Pennsylvania police officers will have full authority to apprehend illegal aliens. He says, dealing with the problem is a multi-million dollar issue and one that needs to be addressed.
An Arizona law passed last week has sparked national controversy. The law calls for all foreign nationals to carry some sort of paperwork proving they are in the country legally. It also gives police officers the right to check anyone that looks "reasonably suspicious" and make them provide documentation or face a misdemeanor.
Metcalfe says his legislation resembles the Arizona law. He claims there are 140,000 illegal aliens in this state. Dealing with them costs PA taxpayers over $700 million a year. He wants to strengthen the laws and save taxpayers some big bucks.
"Illegal aliens that come here are tapping into the job market, tapping into our public benefits. We have a legislation designed to shut that economic faucet off so that the illegal aliens won't turn and go home on their own and if they want to be here in the U.S., they would do it the right way," Metcalfe said during an October 2007 event.
Metcalfe is getting support from several groups including F.A.I.R., the Federation for American Immigration Reform and Citizens for Immigration Control. Other state lawmakers are also throwing their support behind Metcalfe's bill. Lancaster Republican Representative Tom Creighton and Cumberland/York Republican Representative Scott Perry are also supporting the measure.
A news conference announcing the legislation is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Capitol.