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Immigrant rights groups ask Blunt for names

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Missouri immigrant rights advocates are concerned that Governor Matt Blunt new illegal immigration mandates will lead to racial profiling.

Last month, Blunt announced directives that punish contractors who employ illegal immigrants, as well as empowering state police to check immigration status on everyone they arrest.

"We're looking to see whether in fact, everyone who is stopped by the state police to verify immigration status, that that's happening to every single person who's stopped or whether it simply is happening to some people," says Joan Suarez, with the group Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates.

Suarez has asked Blunt to provide the names of every person detained under his new directives.

For his part the governor says concerns about racial profiling will be a non-issue because they'll check everyone.

"Any time anybody is arrested for a crime that leads to incarceration we're checking their immigration status," Blunt said Monday. "Regardless of their ethnicity or their race."

Other groups opposing the mandate include the ACLU of Eastern Missouri and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

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