Arizona-style HB644 Killed Mid-Hearing

by Garret Ean
March 2, 2011

In a rare but not unprecedented move, the NH House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee opted to end a February 17th public hearing on HB644 early and instantly killed the bill with a unanimous “Inexpedient to Legislate” vote. The bill’s only supporting testimony came from the sponsor, Rep. Robert Huxley of Greenville. In opposition to the bill were various individuals and groups from law enforcement to religious organizations. Many who wished to testify against the bill (including myself) were relieved of their duty by Rep. David Welch’s motion midway through the hearing that the committee need not spend more time on the bill.

This bill would have, among other things:
-Created a chapter in NH statute titled “Illegal Aliens”.
-Required anyone suspected of belonging to that group to prove their legal residence or face indefinite incarceration and possible transfer of custody to the federal government. (Hmm…isn’t the burden of proof supposed to be on the state?)
-Punished businesses suspected of hiring undocumented immigrants.
-Required state police resources to be diverted to enforce failed federal government policies.

You can read the full text of the bill at:
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0644.html

Regularly, a public hearing only concludes when all who wish to speak have been recognized, and an executive session is planned to take place at a later date where the vote on the bill’s recommendation is taken. On March 2, the full house affirmed the committee’s ITL recommendation, sealing the fate of HB644.

Watch Rep. Huxley’s brief testimony in support of the bill and the committee’s decision to kill the bill courtesy of FreeConcordTV:

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