A Republican state legislator running for Congress in Indiana is stressing the need to tackle illegal immigration, but has supported legislation that would have provided driving “cards” and in-state tuition rates for those in the U.S. illegally.
“I am devoted to tackling pressing issues like illegal immigration, safeguarding our liberties, protecting the unborn, balancing the federal budget, stopping the woke agenda, and growing jobs in Southwest Indiana,” state Sen. Mark Messmer, who is running to represent Indiana’s 8th Congressional District, wrote on his campaign website.
However, Messmer co-sponsored SB200 in 2022, which would have provided for illegal immigrants in the state to “apply for a driving card learner’s permit and driving card to obtain driving privileges.”
The bill was ultimately killed before being voted on in a committee, prompting protests by liberal activists who say as many as 100,000 illegal immigrants are driving in Indiana without a license, according to a February 2022 report by local ABC affiliate WRTV.
Messmer also co-authored SB135, an ongoing piece of legislation that would allow illegal immigrants living in Indiana to pay the same rate for college tuition as residents of the state, meaning out-of-state American citizens attending a school in the state could end up paying more than someone in the country illegally.
To qualify, an illegal immigrant student must submit an affidavit to their college or university of choice saying they’ve applied with the U.S. government for legal status, or that they will apply for legal status once eligible to do so.
The bill, which is currently being considered at the committee level, would not provide for financial assistance or grants to any qualifying illegal immigrants, and targets those who do not qualify for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
“Joe Biden’s border policies have created significant challenges, forcing states like Indiana to address the fallout. Senator Messmer’s previous legislation has received support from the law enforcement community, aiming to counteract the consequences of unchecked illegal immigration,” Messmer campaign manager Adam Johnson told Fox News Digital.
“Senator Messmer has demonstrated through his consistent voting record that he is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of our communities, while supporting legislation that strengthens border security, enforces current immigration laws, and aids states like Texas in their efforts to manage the repercussions of these open border policies,” he added.
So far, surgeon Richard Moss is the only other candidate running against Messmer in the Republican primary.
Elections analysts largely view the seat as a safe Republican win.