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BOISE -- An Idaho lawmaker who has unsuccessfully pushed for immigration reform in Idaho will try again in the next session.

Sen. Mike Jorgenson says after states like Arizona passed tough measures, it's time that Idaho does the same.

The Hayden Lake Republican calls illegal immigration a growing problem in Idaho.

He's not pitching the same law as the one in Arizona, but he does want every business to verify a new hire's legal status.

His bill would require that all employers get an applicant's date of birth and Social Security information, and plug it into a federal system called E-Verify.

He says that database would immediately tell the employers if the applicant is legally in the U.S.

According to Jorgenson, illegal immigrants cost Idaho taxpayers and take jobs that otherwise unemployed Idahoans would take.

Illegal immigration is costing Idaho about $200 million a year in the form of education, crime, actually imprisonment. What's it costing our corrections system? What it costing our indigent care through counties? said Jorgenson.

Jorgenson says this issue is not about race, it's about protecting state taxpayers.

Sen. Nicole LeFavour says immigration laws will hurt the state economy more than they will help.

The Boise Democrat says many immigrants do pay taxes, and contribute to society.

She believes that immigration is a federal issue, not a state issue.

And if Jorgenson was to sponsor a bill to make E-Verify a requirement, LeFavour would not support it.

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