Northeast Mo. town outraged over jilted lover killings, police say illegal immigrant confessed
CCH, July 14, 2008
HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) — A Hannibal police officer was finishing up mundane paperwork on a quiet Saturday morning when Manuel Cazares walked into the station, blood splattered on his hands and shoes.
Missouri governor signs comprehensive immigration bill into law
CCH, July 14, 2008
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt (R) signed the state’s comprehensive immigration reform bill (H.R. 1549) into law on July 7, 2008. In a press release issued by Blunt’s office, he characterized the bill’s provisions “as some of the strongest legislation in the country to fight illegal immigration.” The bill, a conference committee substitute, passed in the state legislature May 16. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 35,000 to 65,000 illegal immigrants live in Missouri.
Missouri State Troopers Finish Immigration Training
By Chris Blank, The Associated Press, July 12, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Ten state troopers completed special immigration training Friday, allowing the officers to start enforcing federal immigration laws in Missouri.
Six troopers - two each from Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis - will be used to speed up processing after traffic stops, and the other four will be assigned to casinos in Kansas City and St. Louis. Their training at a federal police training center in Charleston, S.C., began last month.
Even without immigration training, Missouri police can use a federal database maintained in Vermont to check the immigration status of a stopped motorist. But that means waiting for federal immigration authorities to take custody of an illegal immigrant and begin the deportation procedures.
Now, a state trooper will be able to contact one of the specially trained officers to take custody of an illegal immigrant and start paperwork to begin deportation procedures.
State immigration reform has little local impact
By: Chris J. Cluck, Christian County Headliner News, June 11, 2008
Missouri's General Assembly passed immigration reform legislation last month that many in the state called for, although local officials see only a slight impact for Christian County.
The new illegal immigration legislation addresses a wide range of issues to help the state deal with what many see as a "growing problem," according to reports from Missouri's House of Representatives.
Missouri bill would mandate English-only CDL tests, forbid ‘sanctuary’ cities
By Keith Goble, Land Line Magazine, June 9, 2008
A bill atop Gov. Matt Blunt’s desk would call for trucker-hopefuls in Missouri to prove they have a firm grasp of the English language to obtain a commercial driver’s license. The bill also would outlaw “sanctuary” cities in the state.
A conference committee made up of select members from the House and Senate waited until the final hours of the regular session to sign off on the bill – HB1549 – that would require the written test to be offered only in English. The full chambers followed suit shortly thereafter.
Applicants would also be required to understand traffic signs and signals written in English. They would be prohibited from using translators while taking the test.
Missouri remains behind in illegal immigration legislation
By CHRIS BLANK/The Associated Press, June 8, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri politicians say they sprinted toward the front in the national race to crack down on illegal immigration, but the front-runners still have a comfortable lead.
Missouri’s legislation includes mandates for employers and police and penalties for illegal immigrants and cities that don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
Graves discusses energy, economy and illegal immigration in Boonville
Booneville News, June 2, 2008
U.S. Congressman Sam Graves was in Boonville Friday afternoon to discuss energy prices, the economy and illegal immigration at the Boonville Caterpillar plant.
“Energy prices are getting out of control, making it more expensive for families to drive their children to school, get to their jobs, or for small businesses to keep their lights on.” said Graves. “It is time for Congress to get serious and pass real energy legislation.”
Graves spoke about the need to wean ourselves off of foreign oil and his support of legislation to go after OPEC as well as those who are engaged in price gouging.
State lawmakers crack down on illegal immigration
By Sarah Whitney for the Warrenton Journal, May 28, 2008
The Missouri Legislature passed an illegal immigration bill that addresses the issue on several fronts.
The bill cracks down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, bars illegal immigrants from obtaining a driver's license and prevents illegal residents from receiving state or local public benefits.
Blunt touts illegal immigration reform in Branson
By Chad Livengood for the news-leader, May 23, 2008
BRANSON — Gov. Matt Blunt stopped in Branson on Thursday, touring local attractions, making the city "Capitol for a Day," and touting new legislation cracking down on illegal immigrates.
The new legislation puts into law policies first proposed by Blunt to prohibit illegal immigrants from obtaining driver licenses, getting welfare benefits, prohibit the creation of sanctuary cities in the state and require all public employers to register and use an employment verification system.
Governor Says Immigration Bill is Strong
Ozarks First, May 22, 2008
Governor Matt Blunt was in Branson today to tout what he calls one of the strongest bills to come out of this session, the illegal immigration bill.
The governor says the legislation prohibits sanctuary cities, stops illegals from getting a drivers license, and makes it a felony to transport an illegal immigrant in the state.
The bill also gives law enforcement new tools and training to help them better track down and arrest illegals.
“House bill 1549 is a good piece of legislation that will indeed help to curb illegal immigration. it's one of the strongest bills that any state has passed and ensures that we're addressing a key concern of Missouri families,” says Blunt.
The new bill also aims to make sure no illegals receive welfare from the state.
Legislature took steps to help Missourians
By GOV. MATT BLUNT for the Kansas Star, May 20, 2008
When the legislative session opened in January, some warned that election year politics would block progress on key bills. The gloomy forecasts were mistaken. I have received many important bills and a fiscally responsible budget that puts children and taxpayers first.
For the fourth year in a row, we balanced the state’s budget without job-killing new taxes. If you want to list “winners” and “losers,” a staple of media coverage, Missouri taxpayers are clear winners.
Missouri House Concludes Session with Focus on Property Tax Relief and Immigration Reform
InfoZine, May 18, 2008
The Missouri House concluded business for the 2008 legislative session with a flurry of activity that resulted in the passage of several priority issues ranging from property tax relief to illegal immigration reform.
Jefferson City, MO - infoZine - House Speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, praised his colleagues for working together to secure passage of legislation that builds upon the legislative successes of previous years with a focus on protecting Missouri taxpayers.
Mo. lawmakers OK immigration bill
AP, May 16, 2008
Missouri lawmakers voted Friday to approve a bill designed to crack down on illegal immigrants and those who employ them. Here are some of the provisions:
The Highway Patrol must seek federal immigration training if lawmakers budget money for it. The patrol plans to send 10 troopers next month to be deputized to enforce federal immigration laws.
Cities and towns would be ineligible for any state grants if they adopt "sanctuary" policies to not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Bill supporters said there is no Missouri city with such a policy right now. Any lawmaker can ask that the attorney general investigate to determine if an ordinance or policy qualifies.
Those who are at least 18 years old and are applying for most public benefits, such as food stamps and housing aid, would need to prove their immigration status. But those administering the program could not ask about the immigration status of a parent who is applying for benefits on behalf of a child who is in the country legally. Nonprofit groups wouldn't need to check the immigration status of anyone.
Employers who have at least five workers involved in public works could be fined up to $50,000 if they classify their workers as "contractors" when they are actually "employees." When workers are contractors, employers don't have to pay withholding taxes, provide other benefits or take responsibility if the worker is an illegal immigrant.
Public employers and companies with a public contract or grant worth at least $5,000 would need to use the federal E-Verify database to check the immigration status of new hires. Private businesses wouldn't have to use the database, but if they do they would have a defense that they had not knowingly hired an illegal immigrant. Employers found to have hired an illegal immigrant would need to start using E-Verify.
Companies found to have knowingly hired illegal immigrants would lose their business license.
Missouri will not recognize driver's licenses issued to illegal immigrants by another state.
Written commercial driver's license tests must be administered in English without the help of a translator.
There would be a presumption that someone who can reasonably be believed to be an illegal immigrant is not likely to appear in court when a judge is weighing bail.
MOVING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
Those who transport an illegal immigrant within Missouri for prostitution, drug trafficking or employment would face up to one year in prison and at least a $1,000 fine.
Police would need to verify the immigration status within 48 hours of those who are held in jail and who don't have documents that indicated whether they are legally in the U.S.
Blunt Threatens Special Session For Immigration Bills
Newsroom Solutions, May 15, 2008
(Jefferson City) -- Missouri Governor Matt Blunt says he'll keep lawmakers at work if they don't pass his illegal immigration plan.
The current legislative session ends tomorrow and the General Assembly has yet to pass several illegal immigration bills banning illegals from getting driver's licenses, outlawing so-called sanctuary cities and requiring verification of the legal status of public employees.
Blunt says he'll also ask lawmakers to address property tax relief in a special session if they don't finish work this week on the bill that's in conference.
Immigration Directive Leads to Detention of 250
Newsroom Solutions, May 12, 2008
(Jefferson City, MO) A directive issued last August to fight illegal immigration is getting results in Missouri with 250 illegal immigrants detained in less than nine months, according to a statement from Gov. Matt Blunt today.
All state law enforcement agencies were directed in August to verify the immigration status of anyone being jailed or imprisoned. The directive has resulted in the detention of 250 people.
The legislature is still considering a bill to strengthen Missouri's laws to prevent illegals from obtaining driver licenses and new penalties for anyone who tries to help them obtain one.
Proposed legislation would prohibit the creation of sanctuary cities in the state, require verification of legal employment status of every public employee, cancellation of state contracts for contractors if they hire illegal immigrants, and legislation criminalizing the transportation of illegal immigrants for purposes of human trafficking, drug trafficking, prostitution or illegal labor, Blunt' s office said.
Immigration investigation in 2006 shows how federal training can help
by Chris Blank, The Associated Press, May 11, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri police officers next month will get special training to enforce federal immigration laws through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
It's training that could have come in handy when state troopers reviewing threats of violence against a northern Missouri lawmaker in 2006 also checked into allegations that then-Rep. Kathy Chinn had hired illegal immigrants on her Clarence, Mo., farm.
But immigration attorneys say that without the special federal training, the Highway Patrol's investigation was at best unusual and possibly on shaky legal ground.
Does illegal immigration lead to more crime? - Police, advocates say link is tough to find
By Eric Becker for the St. Charles Journal, May 10, 2008
Local police are taking on a greater role in helping federal immigration officials catch and deport people living in the country illegally, law enforcement officials say.
But the question of how much undocumented immigrants contribute to St. Charles County’s crime rate -- and what should be done about it -- is one for which few police officers and immigrant advocates have answers.
During the summer of 2007, Gov. Matt Blunt pointed to a crime committed in New Jersey as justification for attempts to crack down on undocumented immigrants in Missouri.
Anti-illegal immigration group makes push for Senate bill
By MELISSA HUFFER for the Missourian, May 8, 2008
COLUMBIA — An anti-illegal immigration group is advertising in newspapers across Missouri to support a Senate bill, which among other things would ban illegal immigrants from higher education and jobs.
With the 94th session of the Missouri Legislature coming to a close next week, Missourians Against Illegal Immigration has placed advertisements in newspapers in Columbia and St. Charles. The advertisements read “Save Missouri Lives, Save Missouri Jobs, Save Missouri Tax Dollars.”
The bill, SB 858, would crack down on illegal immigration by banning illegal immigrants from higher education and barring employers from hiring workers who cannot prove the validity of their status in the United States.
The bill has been referred to the Rules Committee and has not budged since Monday.
Settlement offered in illegal-immigration litigation - Deal would come with some conditions
By Mary Shapiro for West County Journal, April 25, 2008
Plaintiffs in litigation over Valley Park's original laws regarding illegal immigration are offering to settle their lawsuit.
However, that deal would come with some conditions. And the city attorney contends it has never been presented to the city in writing.
Florence Streeter, along with now-Alderwoman Stephanie Reynolds and Jacqueline Gray, was a landlord and plaintiff in a recent lawsuit filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court over the original version of Valley Park's laws, approved by the Board of Aldermen in 2006.St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Barbara Wallace had issued temporary orders to block enforcement of those original laws, and the city created revised versions later.
Steelman touts stances on illegal immigration
By Mark Schlinkmann for STLToday, April 15, 2008
State Treasurer Sarah Steelman touted her anti-illegal immigration bonafides this morning in St. Charles County, where the issue has flared up in recent years during the construction of two apartment projects in O’Fallon.
Steelman said at a sparsely-attended discussion organized by her gubernatorial campaign that she supported a bill approved recently by the Missouri Senate on the issue.
But she said the Legislature should go further by imposing additional punishment for companies found to knowingly employ workers in the United States illegally.
“I don’t think it’s stiff enough on the financial penalties,” Steelman said at the county government’s administration building in St. Charles. “I think that’s what employers understand.”
Steelman didn’t specify how much of a fine should be imposed. The Senate-approved bill, now pending in the House, would subject employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants to loss of their business permits, licenses and state contracts.
The measure does call for fines for employers who knowingly misclassify employees on federal reports. And it takes various other steps, such as making illegal immigrants ineligible for most state and local services.
Asked by a reporter whether she has any differences on the subject with GOP primary opponent Kenny Hulshof, Steelman said she didn’t know his position ”other than that Congress hasn’t done anything about this issue.” Hulshof, of course, is a member of Congress.
The tiny turnout for the discussion included County Recorder of Deeds Barbara Hall, whose husband, Buddy Hardin, is a local GOP activist who helped set up the event; two employees in Hall’s office; Hardin’s brother, Ian Hardin, an immigration lawyer from Alton, Ill., and Bill Gaines, a retired machinist from St. Charles who supports Steelman’s candidacy.
Hardin was Gov. Matt Blunt’s campaign coordinator in the county in 2004. After Blunt’s election, his administration tapped Hardin for a patronage plum - one of the state Revenue Department license fee agent positions in the county.
Immigration crackdown measure passes Missouri House
By JASON ROSENBAUM for the Columbia Tribune, April 11, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House approved wide-ranging legislation yesterday that would train Missouri State Highway Patrol officers to enforce immigration law, check the immigration status of prisoners and prompt those applying for a commercial driver’s licenses to take a written test in English.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis, is one of a number of bills offered this session dealing with the controversial topic of illegal immigration. Onder said his bill is a step toward combating a problem he said has been long ignored by the federal government.
Blunt Cheers House Action On Illegal Immigration Measures
Newsroom Solutions, April 10, 2008
(Jefferson City) -- Governor Matt Blunt is applauding the Missouri state House for giving first-round approval to a series of illegal immigration measures.
The state House gave initial approval yesterday to measures that require law enforcement officers to check the legal status of anyone placed under arrest or charged with a crime.
The House also advanced bills banning so-called sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants and banning illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses.
Immigration laws hurt society, speakers claim
By ABRAHAM MAHSHIE for the Columbia Tribune, April 8, 2008
Though they called Missouri a welcoming and diverse place for immigrants, opening speakers and legal experts at the "Cambio de Colores: Latinos in Missouri" conference gave differing views of the reality many immigrants face in the state.
"There is more work to be done," said University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee after greeting the crowd with "buenas tardes," the Spanish phrase for "good afternoon."
Forsee also for the first time publicly announced the university’s opposition to a proposed Missouri constitutional amendment to make illegal any form of affirmative action. Concurrent with the Council on Public Higher Education, a group of presidents and chancellors of public institutions of higher education in the state, Forsee said claims that affirmative action resulted in reverse discrimination were "false, absolutely false."
State Senate Gives Initial Approval To Illegal Immigration Measures
Newsroom Solutions, April 2, 2008
(Jefferson City) -- A legislative crackdown on illegal immigration has the first round approval of the Missouri state Senate. The Senate gave initial approval to a wide ranging bill Tuesday.
The bill requires the verification of legal status of public employees, applicants for welfare, and inmates entering Missouri prisons.
It also bans the creation of "sanctuary cities" for illegal immigrants and specifically bans illegal immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses.
Immigration bills aired in House and Senate
By JASON NOBLE for the Kansas City Star, March 6, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY | Missouri lawmakers considered a raft of bills addressing illegal-immigration issues in committee hearings Wednesday.
The bills tackled a range of topics, from restrictions on public benefits and college admission to penalties for businesses employing illegal immigrants.
Illegal immigration is expected to be a top issue in the legislature this year, as lawmakers react to rising concern about the economic impact of illegal immigration and inaction by the federal government.
Sen. Scott Rupp, a Wentzville Republican, introduced the most comprehensive bill of the day, with sections restricting illegal aliens from attending state colleges and universities; prohibiting cities from adopting “sanctuary” policies; criminalizing the transport or harboring of illegal immigrants; and stepping up laws related to employers.
Illegal Immigration Ad Draws Fire - Ad Claims Immigrants Take Jobs Away From Black Men
KMBC TV, February 28, 2008
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A local civil rights leader said some anti-illegal immigration commercials on TV are trying to stir up trouble.
The ads have been airing in Kansas City and on KMBC-TV for several weeks. The commercial comes from a group called the Coalition for the Future American Worker.
The ad claims illegal immigration hurts the job prospects for black men.
"Studies show immigration accounts for 40 percent of the decline in the employment of black men," the commercial said.
Immigration program focuses on local Hispanics - State funds Spanish-language event at Rock Road Library
By Buck Collier, North Country Journal, February 19, 2008
The various aspects of family-based immigration and trends in legislation aimed at immigrants will be the focus of a five-part educational program next month.
The program, kicking off at 2 p.m. March 1, will be at the Rock Road Library, 10267 St. Charles Rock Road. It will focus primarily on Hispanic immigrants.
St. Ann branch to host immigration, citizenship program
By Buck Collier, North Country Journal, February 15, 2008
A five-part education program on immigration and citizenship for the area's Hispanic residents is scheduled to begin next month at the Rock Road branch of the St. Louis County Library, 10267 St. Charles Rock Road, in St. Ann.
St. Ann and Overland are two of the more popular places to live in metro St. Louis among Hispanics.
Missouri: Group Membership Prompts a Resignation
By AP, January 23, 2008
A member of the Kansas City Parks Board resigned after her membership in an anti-illegal-immigration group led two organizations, the National Council of La Raza and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, to hold their annual conventions elsewhere. The board appointee, Frances Semler, 74, a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, said she resigned because her involvement with the group had become too contentious and because she did not feel that Mayor Mark Funkhouser supported her. Ms. Semler defended her involvement with the group, which advocates vigilante patrolling of the Mexican border and reports illegal immigrants. “I’m a decent, nice person that happens to belong to the Minutemen and thinks our borders should be protected and our laws upheld,” she said.