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Alter, Rupp introduce illegal alien crackdown bills

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KWMU photo
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Sen. Bill Alter (left) and Rep. Scott Rupp speak to a reporter about their legislation designed to curb illegal immigration. The two men stood near an O'Fallon construction site where 13 illegal workers were arrested in February.

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The legislation is sponsored in the Missouri House by Rep. Scott Rupp
(R-Wentzville) and in the Senate by Sen. Bill Alter (R-High Ridge).

Rupp says illegal aliens steal health care and education dollars away from Missouri taxpayers.

His bill would cut off those workers' access to such benefits, and pay to train state and local police to better enforce immigration laws.

Rupp says it would also keep arrested aliens from returning to work sites.

"This legislation would allow us to start deportation processes immediately, rather than just turning them right back on the street, issuing them a court date, which we know they'll never show up at," Rupp said.

The legislation comes in the wake of the arrest of 13 undocumented workers at a construction site in O'Fallon last month.

Associated General Contractors of St. Louis president Len Toenjes says he hopes the bill will identify who's accountable for verifying a worker's citizenship status.

"Our key issue is just to ensure that the responsibility for verification is not unduly onerous on either business or government," Toenjes said.

Federal immigration records indicate there may be as many as 55,000 illegal immigrants living in Missouri.

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