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St. Chas. Co. tightens laws to address illegals in workplaces

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Economic development officials in St. Charles County are tightening the laws governing bond financing for building projects.

The move follows the recent discovery of illegal immigrants at a construction site in O'Fallon.

Last month, police arrested 13 undocumented aliens at the jobsite. The incident raised questions about who's responsible for checking employee records.

The president of the St. Charles County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Greg Prestemon, says his agency is strengthening its bond language to help law enforcement find illegal workers, and encourage developers to obey the law.

"If you're not willing to sign off on these documents saying that you will give us access to records and the site itself, you're not going to receive financing."

Prestemon says the new language will also help honest contractors compete with unscrupulous rivals who knowingly employ illegal aliens. "It's not fair for a local contractor who might be abiding by all the laws relating to employment law to have to compete against [someone] that might not do that."

Prestemon says the new language should be in place by the end of the month.


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