Donnelly Statement on Senate Passed Immigration Legislation

Washington, D.C. –Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after the Senate passed bipartisan immigration reform legislation, S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, with a vote of 68 to 32.
“The immigration system in our country is clearly not working.  Today, our broken system has resulted in a policy of de facto amnesty for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in our country illegally.  Like all Hoosiers, I believe citizenship is a privilege, and I have long argued that effective immigration reform requires strong borders, strict laws that punish those who break the rules, and a tough process for those who want to earn the opportunity for citizenship.
“This afternoon, I supported the bipartisan legislation before the Senate because it would create a practical policy that strengthens our borders, protects and grows our economy, and holds accountable those who have broken the law.  At the core of this bill is a bipartisan proposal, which I helped introduce, that would enact the strongest border security measures in our nation’s history. The plan would double the size of our border patrol, construct 700 miles of fencing, invest in the tools and technologies necessary to stop the flow of illegal immigration, and require all employers to use the E-Verify system to ensure they hire legal workers.  At the same time, the bill would require undocumented immigrants who have broken the law to register with the government, pay taxes and fines, learn English, and go to the back of the line.
“The United States has a rich tradition built upon the hard work of immigrant citizens.  While today’s bill is not perfect, it would create a responsible policy and fair process that will allow this tradition to continue. My focus is always on what is best for Hoosier workers, middle class families, and business owners.  By strengthening our borders and ending de facto amnesty, I think we also strengthen our state and our country’s economic future.”


This bill would require those living in this country with de facto amnesty to meet the following requirements to reach provisional status, only after DHS notifies Congress that the border security and fencing strategies are underway:
·         have not been convicted of certain criminal offenses, including a felony or three or more separate misdemeanors;
·         pay all assessed Federal taxes;
·         submit biometric data (fingerprints and photographs)
·         pass a background check; and
·         pay application processing fees and a $1,000 fine per adult.
Limit Federal Benefits: 
·         Those with provisional status would not be eligible for Federal means-tested benefits including non-emergency Medicaid, CHIP, SSI, SNAP, and TANF.
·         No immigrant could claim Social Security credit for periods while they were working illegally.
·         Under this bill, HHS could not grant waivers to states to allow them to use TANF dollars to give cash assistance to people with provisional status.

Must Renew Provisional Status After 6 Years:   Initial provisional status would be valid for 6 years, at which point the immigrant would need to apply for an extension.  Also, this bill would require the immigrant to:
·         demonstrate continued eligibility,
·         pay application processing fees, and
·         demonstrate proof of regular employment or enrollment in a qualifying educational program.
Provisional Status Not Guaranteed and Can Be Revoked at Any Time:  Provisional status can be revoked if an immigrant fails to meet the eligibility requirements.  

After 10 years of provisional status and only if the border security conditions are satisfied, those with provisional status can apply to be permanent residents if they:
·         continue to meet criteria for provisional status,
·         meet employment or education requirements,
·         prove that they are learning English,
·         register for the draft (if applicable), and
·         pay application processing fees and a $1,000 fine per adult.
Back of the Line Requirement:  No one with provisional status would be able to apply for permanent residency until immigrant visas have become available for all approved employment- and family-based petitions in the visa queue backlog.
The bill would require immigrants pursuing citizenship to work through a no less than 13-year process.  Immigrants who are approved for permanent resident status can apply for U.S. citizenship no less than 3 years after reaching permanent residency status.

Under this bill, before DHS could begin to process immigrants’ applications for provisional status, DHS must notify Congress that it has developed and started to implement a Border Security Strategy and Fencing Strategy. 

After 10 years, immigrants with provisional status could apply for green cards only if the Secretary of Homeland Security in consultation with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, the DHS Inspector General, and the Comptroller General certify to Congress and the President that the following five security and enforcement measures have been implemented:
·         The Border Security Strategy is deployed and operational including at a minimum full implementation and activation of $4.5 billion in specific technology and equipment requested by the Border Patrol to achieve full surveillance of the border.
·         No fewer than 38,405 trained full-time active duty Border Patrol agents are deployed and maintained along the Southern Border (an increase of 20k over the existing 18k agents already deployed).
·         No fewer than 700 miles of pedestrian fencing are in place on the Southern Border (350 miles more than existing 350 miles).
·         E-Verify is mandatory for all employers.
·         DHS has implemented an electronic biographical exit/entry system at all international air and sea ports of entry within the United States where CBP and Border Patrol officers are stationed.
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LaPorte PD Wanted Person of the Week Anthony Carter

Anthony Carter
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Dept)
Police in LaPorte are seeking the public's help in locating their wanted person of the week, 21 year old Anthony Carter. Police say Carter is currently wanted for felony theft and is described as a black male, 5'07”, with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone who knows of his immediate whereabouts is encouraged to call 9-1-1, LaPorte Police at (219) 362-9446, or LaPorte County Metro Operations at (219) 325-9022, and you can remain anonymous.
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Gary Clean Water Celebration Press Conference Saturday

City of Gary
A press conference will be held this Saturday morning to kick off the City of Gary's Clean Water Celebration. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will be joined by representatives of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Natural Resources for an award presentation to the Gary Storm Water Management District, while discussing Gary's advances in storm water management. The press conference is scheduled for 11am Saturday, at Marquette Park, Shelter Number 5, near the lagoon.
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Major Backup Eastbound I-80/94 Due to Crash

An SUV hauling a trailer reportedly rolled over blocking the right lane of eastbound Interstate 80/94 between Ripley St./Exit 16 and State Road 149.  Traffic was reportedly jammed from I-65 to mile marker 20, where the accident occurred.  Drivers can expect five miles of stop and go traffic with delays up to 20 minutes.   The Indiana Toll Road should be considered as an alternate.
EB 80-94 backed up 06-27-13
Looking eastbound I-80/94 near State Road 249, traffic backed up from I-65 due to crash.
(photo from INDOT)

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Changes to Business and Securities Laws Start July 1st

Secretary of State
INDIANAPOLIS (June 27, 2013) – Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced today that her office is prepared to implement stronger safeguards for Hoosier investors and new requirements for uniform commercial code (UCC) filings that go into effect on July 1. The new laws protect Hoosiers from Durham-like fraud through greater audit transparency and bring UCC filings in Indiana in line with national standards.  
Hoosier investors will now receive additional protections from future schemes similar to those convicted felon Tim Durham used to swindle Ohio investors. The securities offered and sold by Tim Durham and Fair Finance were securities that could be offered with no requirement that Durham submit independently audited financial statements.  This loophole helped facilitate Durham’s multi-year scheme.
To enhance the office’s ongoing effort to protect Hoosier investors, intrastate offerings to be registered by qualification will now require audited financials performed by an independent CPA at the time of registration. This will provide investors with a more complete picture of the offerings so they can make better informed investment decisions.
“Over the past two years, Hoosiers have watched the Tim Durham case unfold involving over 4,000 Ohio investors and wondered if it could happen here,” said Secretary Lawson. “Now, this new law creates an added safeguard to protect Hoosiers from thieves like Durham.” 
“I want to thank author Representative Bob Heaton, co-authors Representatives Christina Hale, Dale Devon and Justin Moed, sponsor Senator Jim Smith, and cosponsors Senators Mark Stoops and Doug Eckarty,” said Secretary Lawson.
Another change for financial professionals will be new UCC filing forms. The new UCC filing forms follow international naming conventions and will go into effect on July 1. Changes to the form are minimal. Previously, the form asked for last name and first name. Last name is now listed as surname and first name is now listed as first personal name.
The eFiling system has been updated to reflect the amendments, and online service will not be interrupted.  The office will begin accepting the new forms on July 1, 2013 and will allow for a transition period until July 31, 2013.  The old UCC form will be rejected starting August 1, 2013.
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Valpo Economic Dir to Join City's Board of Works and Safety

City of valpo
The Mayor of Valparaiso today announced that the city's Economic Development Director since 2007 will now become the newest member of the city's Board of Works and Safety effective immediately. Matt Murphy will replace Chuck Williams, who announced his resignation earlier this month. Mayor Jon Costas says Murphy has a demonstrated interest in the future of city, as his efforts have been instrumental in recruiting new businesses as well as helping to retain businesses, and that his expertise will be a valuable addition to the Board of Works and Safety.
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Trial of Man Accused of Molesting a Child Ends in Hung Jury

Terry Hill
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
The trial of a 63 year old Tennessee man accused of molesting a Porter County child from 1995 through 1997 resulted in a hung jury Wednesday. The Times reports the jury could not reach a verdict after deliberating for around seven-hours. Terry Hill was facing two felony charges of child molesting, after the victim accused him of sexual abuse in 2009, back when he was between the age of 11 to 13 years old.
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Friday Rules for South Shore Riders

Region Blackhawks fans planning on taking the South Shore to Friday''s celebration in downtown Chicago...and all commuters on the South Shore... here are some do's and don'ts for Friday:
Because of the Blackhawks’ Celebration alcohol is prohibited on ALL trains.
We encourage eastbound passengers to board South Shore trains at Van Buren or Millennium Station. Museum Campus/11th St. station is not designed to handle the eastbound crowds we’re expecting.
At Van Buren Street Station South Shore passengers must board trains from TRACK 2 platform between the hours of NOON and 3:20 p.m.
We will add cars to off-peak trains and will provide an extra westbound train in Train 14’s time slot and an extra eastbound train early in the afternoon to address overcrowding. We have scheduled as much extra service as we can given our fleet size and manpower.
Passengers should expect very crowded conditions, especially on eastbound trains departing Chicago after 12:00 noon on Friday. During the Blackhawks celebration in 2010 daily ridership surged from 12,000 to 21,000 passengers. -NICTD
And, for more info visit

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Fairgrounds Park Reopens

park today
Little bit of water today [Photo/Laura Waluszko]
Valparaiso Parks reports Fairgrounds Park is open again after being temporarily closed to the public Wednesday morning following very heavy rains. The park is also a detention facility for stormwater and by 8am the city locked the gates due to several feet of water in the park, including the parking areas. Today, officials say the parking lots are accessible as is the walking track, but field conditions are being assessed to determine whether sports leagues will play tonight. For a link to updates, visit
park wednesday
This was yesterday  [Photo/Valparaiso Dept of Parks and Recreation]

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New Immediate Care Center in Lake Co

A new immediate care center is officially opening on the first of July in Lake County. Ribbon-cutting was held this week for the Community Hospital Outpatient Center Schererville at US 30 and Harvest Drive. The medical facility will also offer family medicine, laboratory, and outpatient diagnostic services like MRI, CT imaging and general X-ray.


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