Legislation targets illegal immigrants in Missouri
By Marshall Griffin, KWMU
Jefferson City, MO – New legislation in the Missouri Senate would crack down on businesses that hire or provide housing to illegal immigrants.
The bill is co-sponsored by Republican Senator Chris Koster of Harrisonville and by Democrat Timothy Green of St. Louis.
Green says the federal government has done a poor job of enforcing immigration laws: "if they were here legally, I'm all supportive, but they're here illegally, and they are being paid lower wages to do work, that we have citizens that can do the work."
If passed, businesses that hire illegals and landlords that rent to them could lose their business licenses, and colleges would not be allowed to admit anyone that can't prove they're in the country legally.
"A lot of businesses have had problems competing with other businesses that have been hiring illegals," added Green. "We need some mechanism in the state of Missouri that we can enforce."
A group of activists visited Green's office yesterday to voice concerns that his bill and others could hurt those here legally, but Green says his bill would not harm legal immigrants.