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Enforcement of immigration laws in Mo. at issue in to-be-debated bill

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)
Mo. Capitol

Legislation to be considered by lawmakers next year would require Missouri’s Attorney General to sue the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws.

The bill is sponsored by GOP Senator Will Kraus.  He says whenever state or local authorities arrest someone who happens to be in the US illegally, the feds release that person about 60 percent of the time.

“I think it’s a good piece of legislation because it lets Missourians tell the elected officials that they’re concerned with this issue, and that we don’t want our state tax dollars going to support or harbor people that are here breaking our laws,” Kraus said.

Kraus says the bill would also require the state auditor to calculate how much money the lack of federal enforcement is costing Missouri.  Opponents call the bill a “solution in search of a problem,” and that the feds are already strictly enforcing immigration laws in Missouri.

The legislative session begins Jan. 4, 2012.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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