AUSTIN (AP) – A state representative from Houston has filed a bill that would make it a state jail felony to knowingly hire an illegal immigrant — unless the person is a domestic worker.

Republican Rep. Debbie Riddle has long fought for a tougher stance on illegal immigration. The bill she authored would penalize those who knowingly or recklessly hire or contract with an undocumented worker.

But jobs like maids, landscapers and other domestic positions within a family home would be exempt.

Critics say it exposes the hypocrisy of lawmakers who vow to crack down on illegal immigration but want to create a loophole for Americans benefitting from household services.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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