Immigration Bill allows illegal workers to be hired for household chores

AUSTIN, TX (KTRE) - A House committee will consider legislation targeting undocumented workers. One bill would put people behind bars for hiring an illegal worker, unless they're hired to do household chores.

The bill by Republican Rep. Debbie Riddle got nationwide attention when she filed it at the beginning of the session.

The proposal has been regarded suspiciously by those who say Riddle carved out a convenient loophole for Texans wishing to retain their maids, landscapers or other domestic workers.

Other Republican-backed bills before the committee Wednesday would make English the official Texas language and require employers to enroll in the federal electronic employment verification system, E-Verify. E-Verify is a voluntary program that employers can use to verify the citizenship status of new hires.

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(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)