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Bleam, Shaw sound off

District 10 candidates want state role in immigration enforcement

June 3, 2012
By BILL SHEA ( , Messenger News

The two Republicans hoping to represent House District 10 in the Iowa Legislature both believe the state government must play a role in enforcing immigration laws.

Maison Bleam, of Twin Lakes, and state Rep. Tom Shaw, of Laurens, also agree that a computer program called E-Verfiy should be used to determine if people are legally able to work in the United States.

Bleam is making his political debut. Shaw is seeking his second term.

House District 10, created in last year's reapportionment, includes Calhoun, Humboldt and Pocahontas counties plus western Webster County.

There are no Democratic candidates in that district.

In the last of series of articles on state issues, Bleam and Shaw offer their thoughts on immigration.

Maison Bleam

''I support immigration enforcement to restore the rule of law,'' he said. ''I believe the states play a critical role in assisting with federal immigration enforcement, and believe the states are justified in taking action if the federal government fails in fulfilling its obligations to the American people.''

''It is preposterous to take the position that, short of federal action, governors and mayors are powerless to deal with illegal immigrants within their states and cities,'' he added. ''After all, no matter how noble their intentions, these persons have committed a crime by coming to the U.S. illegally. I do not support or embrace the argument that state and local governments must leave all aspects of immigration enforcement entirely to the federal government.''

He said he is in favor of passing a law requiring people to show their identification before voting.

Bleam added that Iowa should consider passing its own immigration laws if the federal government doesn't take action.

Tom Shaw

''I believe we need to get a handle on illegal immigration,'' Shaw said. ''Since the federal government doesn't want to do its job, it's up to the states to protect themselves.''

During the past legislative session, he co-sponsored a bill which would have required Iowa employers to use a computer program called E-Verify to check if potential employees are eligible to work in the United States. He said employers would have to enter the potential worker's name and Social Security number into the program, and they would then quickly learn if that person could legally work in the United States. The bill died in a House committee.

Shaw said he will reintroduce that bill next year if he's re-elected.

He added that he also wants to find ways of pressuring the federal government to streamline the process of legal immigration.

''I'm all for legal immigration,'' Shaw said. ''Legal immigration is what made this country great.''



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