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Arizona’s state House advanced a bill that would revoke state licenses and permits of employers who hire illegal immigrants.

Federal law already requires employers to verify their workers’ eligibility. The proposed state law would suspend an employer’s license for six months after a first offense and revoke it after a second.

The bill’s backers say it will even out competition for businesses whose rivals hire lower-wage, illegal workers.

The House Commerce Committee passed the bill 8-4 Monday.

Opponents say the penalties will kill many businesses.

“It would give federal bureaucrats death penalty powers over Arizona businesses,” said attorney David Selden, chairman of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce’s employee relations committee, according to the AP. “Any regulated profession will have its existence at risk under this bill.”

Meanwhile, in California, a group of immigration-reform activists hopes to restore some of the provisions of California’s ill-fated Proposition 187 by passing a new initiative in November.

According to organizers, the Save our State initiative would once again enact certain provisions of the proposition that attempted to bar illegal aliens living in the state from receiving taxpayer-supported services. Proposition 187, approved in 1994 by nearly 60 percent of California voters, was essentially killed when, after a lengthy court battle, then-Gov. Gray Davis dropped an appeal filed earlier by the state.

The initiative would require all government workers processing applications for public benefits to verify the immigration status of applicants.

In addition, the proposition prohibits the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. As WorldNetDaily reported, though Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger repealed a new law to grant licenses to illegals when he took office, he now is negotiating with Democrats to pass a new law granting the privilege.

Last month, President Bush announced a major overhaul of immigration policy that would offer a reprieve to an estimated 8 million illegal workers facing the threat of deportation.

Under a plan he will propose to Congress, illegal aliens working in the United States would be allowed to remain in the country for three years if their employers vouch for their jobs. During that period, the worker essentially would be given the rights of a worker with permanent-resident status, including Social Security benefits and the right to bring family members to the United States.

In addition, a “temporary worker program” would permit foreigners to come to the U.S. if they can prove they have secured a job.

Related stories:

Initiative would deny benefits to illegals

Bush plan allows illegals to stay

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