SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers have approved legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to voluntarily join a program and pay state income taxes in exchange for leniency in their immigration status.
The state Assembly approved SB901 Friday on a 42-30 vote, sending it to the governor.
Supporters say encouraging more illegal immigrants to pay taxes could generate an extra $300 million annually, but the state Franchise Tax Board said the legislation would likely have no effect on state revenue.
Workers would need to meet certain criteria and apply to the state to be part of the program. In exchange, California would ask the federal government to put them in the lowest tier of immigration enforcement.
Opponents called the plan a form of amnesty and noted that many illegal immigrants already pay taxes.
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