My Personal Blog - SeanandRuth.us

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Immigration Legislation in Missouri

I sat in a MO Senate Judiciary committee last night that reviewed SB 1250 sponsored by Bill Alter from the St. Louis County area. The bill is a move in the right direction by Missouri lawmakers in state that is not along the border, but none the less affected by illegal aliens. (I cannot help but use this term, as the terms keep shifting in the media: illegal alien to illegal immigrant to undocumented worker.)

The bill has 3 sections. The first section would give Missouri police officers the authority to take custody of illegal aliens and begin investigations. Currently only Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents have that authority. This measure would give (some or all) Missouri officers the ability to get around all the bureaucracy.

The second section makes Missouri law compliant with Federal law, as it prohibits illegal aliens from receiving state welfare benefits, in-state tuition at state universities, and other state benefits. The third section requires photo identification at the polls to prohibit illegal from voting. Interestingly enough, the AARP, the League of Women’s Voters, the Secretary of States office, the Whole Person (a group representing people with physical disabilities), and the ACLU all had representatives present to testify against the 3rd section because it would make it hard for the elderly and the disabled to vote because they often do not have photo ids.

A Hispanic American, who works as a hospital interpreter, testified in favor of the bill. He commented after the hearing that to vote in Mexico you need a photo id that has personal info on the front, and a thumb print and magnetic id chip on the back. He also commented that the 2000 that participated in the protests in Kansas City on Sunday was poor turnout for a city with thousands of illegal aliens.

The Kansas City Star reported on the KC protest and concluded with some comments from a tax-preparer who participated in the protest. She stated“We are not criminals” and “We just come here to work like every group that comes here for the American dream.”

The US is a country that is ruled by law. While I do not agree with every US law, that does not mean I break those that I feel deprive me of the “American Dream.” I have compassion on those who are just trying to survive, but steeling from the “rich” to give to the “poor” is not legitimate option. If US lawmakers let millions of people break the law, what keeps the rest of the citizens from doing the same?

2 comments:

Centurion said...

Excellent report, Ruth.

I am curious as to why the proposed legislation contains no specific provision to investigate and sanction Missouri employers of illegal migrant workers.

Was this topic discussed?

Of course, many of those employers are big donors to both major parties and to many of our legislators, judges and the governor. Low-cost labor, right?
Let's not get too serious.

Could that be the reason for the
apparent omission?

Like the "war on drugs," we will
spin our wheels endlessly if we ignore or diminish the demand side of the equation.

Please keep us informed. Thanks!

Ruth said...

Centurion,

As of recent, there is talk of adding pentalties for businesses that hire illegals. But I haven't heard what degree those pentalties would be.

Also, the voter id section will most likely be dropped.