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Gov. Patrick Stays Quiet On Immigration Bill

Gov. Deval Patrick is taking no position yet on new rules approved by the state Senate to keep benefits and jobs away from anyone in this country illegally.

The new screening rules are part of the state budget approved late Thursday night by the state Senate.

The governor says he's not sure how much difference the new requirements would make.

"People have been talking about it, but I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about how many different screens there already are to make sure only the people entitled to benefits get them," Patrick said.

Some immigration advocates say they are outraged by the plan, which would also require verification of citizenship or legal residency for all companies that do business with the state.

Patricia Montes, of immigrant advocacy group, Centro Presente, says the amendment is an example of politicians blaming immigrants for much bigger problems.

"The economic crisis that this country is confronting at the moment, it doesn't have anything to do with immigrants and doesn't have anything to do with the presence of undocumented immigrants in this country," Montes said.

The amendment will be taken up again during final budget negotiations now between leaders of the House and Senate.

This program aired on May 28, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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