Mass. Senate Approves Illegal Immigrant Crackdown

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The Massachusetts Senate, in an abrupt about-face, has approved an amendment (PDF) clamping down on illegal immigrant access to a range of state services from Medicaid to public housing.

The 28-10 vote Thursday comes a day after the Senate passed a narrower amendment targeting illegal immigrants trying to get Medicaid and unemployment benefits.

The new measure also requires companies doing business with the state verify that their workers are in the country legally.

Republican Sen. Richard Tisei called the amendment a victory for Republicans. He says it makes clear people cannot obtain benefits in Massachusetts unless they are here legally.

Democratic Sen. Steve Baddour calls the bill a bipartisan compromise.

The vote also follows a poll released late Wednesday that found eight out of ten Massachusetts voters say proof of citizenship should be required for public benefits.

This program aired on May 27, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.