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Senate would require housing officials to verify immigrant status
May 25, 2006

BOSTON --Local housing authorities would be required to verify the immigration status of anyone applying for housing -- and give priority to citizens and legal immigrants over undocumented immigrants -- under a plan approved by the Massachusetts Senate on Thursday.

The plan, unanimously approved as an amendment to the Senate budget, would also preserve the existing housing preferences for veterans, people made homeless by natural disasters and those in emergency situations such as domestic violence victims.

Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, D-Worcester, said it is "a simple matter of fairness that citizens and legal immigrants should have priority when applying for state-subsidized public housing."

On Wednesday, senators approved an amendment to create a new hotline to report employers suspected of hiring undocumented immigrants.