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Martinez confirmed by Mo. Senate

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Linda Martinez

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Linda Martinez has been confirmed by the Missouri Senate to be the state's Economic Development Director, after a St. Charles County senator ended a filibuster that had blocked her confirmation.

Senator Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville) says he ended his filibuster after obtaining written documentation that Martinez was willing to enforce the state's illegal immigration laws.

But he added that he had to find the documentation on his own.

"I decided that I would just go ahead and speak my mind on the nomination and vote 'no,' but go ahead and allow my senators to have a chance to voice their vote as well," Rupp said.

State Senator Jolie Justus (D, Kansas City) supported Martinez' appointment.

"During her Senate confirmation hearing, she was asked upfront, 'Will you support the laws of the state of Missouri regarding illegal immigration?', and she said 'yes,' and it is part of her oath and the governor's oath to uphold the laws of the state of Missouri and the constitution, and so I think that she's made those assurances and that's all we needed," Justus said.

In 2007, Martinez joined a group of attorneys in suing the St. Louis suburb of Valley Park, which had enacted a law fining businesses and landlords that hired and rented to illegal immigrants.

Rupp had wanted Martinez or the governor's office to provide reassurance in writing that she would enforce Missouri's immigration laws, but Rupp says they refused to provide such documentation.

Rupp also accuses members of Governor Jay Nixon's staff of making veiled threats against his constituents in St. Charles County in retaliation for requesting the documentation.

KWMU contacted the governor's office for this story, but so far they have not responded.

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