A State Senate panel assigned to study immigration issues in Missouri held its final meeting today in Jefferson City.
Some of the discussion focused on so-called “anti-immigrant” comments made on the House and Senate floors in recent years. Vanessa Crawford Aragon is Executive Director of Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates. She told committee chair Senator John Lamping (R, Ladue) that inflammatory speeches by some lawmakers have made life harder for immigrants in Missouri and they need to tone it down.
Updated at 3 p.m. to include comments from Cullerton and Edgar comments. Tony Arnold contributed reporting from Chicago, and Brian Mackey from Springfield, Ill.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says he wants to pass a bill out of the Senate next week to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. And Gov. Pat Quinn says he'll sign the legislation, if it lands on his desk.
Quinn and Cullerton attended a bipartisan news conference Tuesday that included former Gov. Jim Edgar and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, both Republicans.
A Saint Louis University economist thinks he has found a key to growth for St. Louis.
Professor Jack Strauss presented his findings this afternoon from an economic study that shows a direct correlation between an increasing immigrant population and economic growth. The study was originally released in June.
He says he thinks it is likely that the city’s economic slump is partly due to a dwindling number of immigrants living in the area. Four and a half percent of St. Louis’ population is foreign. In other large cities, that number is closer to 18 percent.
Immigrant advocacy groups in Missouri say that while they are pleased the US Supreme Court struck down most of a controversial Arizona immigration policy, they remain concerned about a provision that had the support of the justices.
The five-to-three ruling on Monday allowed Arizona law enforcement officials to check the papers of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. Opponents say that will lead to biased policing.
St. Louis needs more immigrants. That’s the gist of a new report from St. Louis University.
Professor Jack Strauss presented the findings of his study Tuesday to city and county leaders, including St. Louis mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, at a regional economic development conference.
At about 4.5 percent, Strauss says St. Louis has the lowest rate of immigration among the nation’s largest 20 cities.