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  1. #1
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    MO: bill would block illegal immigrants in hiring, renting

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/s ... enDocument

    Missouri bill would block illegal immigrants in hiring, renting

    POST-DISPATCH JEFFERSON CITY BUREAU CHIEF
    01/24/2007

    JEFFERSON CITY — A bipartisan bill filed Tuesday would set up a new state agency to discourage businesses from hiring illegal immigrants or renting housing to them.

    The main sponsor, Sen. Chris Koster, R-Harrisonville, said the plan was designed to avoid legal pitfalls that have tied up an anti-immigration ordinance passed by the city of Valley Park.

    Under the bill, the state would establish a Division of Immigration Compliance under Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

    Koster said that office was the logical enforcer because the secretary of state oversees business registrations and licenses, which could be pulled if violations occurred.

    A spokeswoman for Carnahan said she had not seen the bill and needed time to review it.

    Under Koster's bill, businesses would be required to use a federal electronic system to check the immigration status of new employees. Landlords would be barred from renting to illegal immigrants.

    Upon receiving a complaint, the state would check the person's immigration status and advise the employer or landlord of the results. A business could lose its license if it did not fire or evict an illegal immigrant. An appeals process would be provided.

    Koster said some industries, such as home contractors and meat processors, are increasingly relying on illegal workers, undercutting wages paid to lawful citizens. He said the bill would "allow labor unions to police their competitors" by filing complaints.

    Sen. Tim Green, D-Spanish Lake, co-sponsors the bill. Green is president of the Missouri Building and Construction Trades Council.

    Koster, who is expected to seek the Republican nomination for attorney general next year, said he did not know how much the new agency would cost taxpayers. He estimated that five clerical employees could handle the workload. He said no investigators would be needed because the state would simply use federal databases.

    Koster said he had help drafting the plan from several constitutional lawyers, including Kris Kobach, a law professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Kobach served as chief adviser on immigration law to former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    The bill is SB348.

  2. #2
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    http://www.komu.com/satellite/Satellite ... fdbfca17c4


    Senate Mulls Immigrant Enforcement Department
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's immigrant population has grown over 30% since 2000 and that has some senators worried.


    The St. Louis suburban town of Valley Park already denies housing and jobs to illegal immigrants. That could become the model for the whole state. Republican senator Chris Koster sponsored the bill to create a Division of Immigration Enforcement.

    Employers would have to double check a worker's immigration status before hiring them, landlords would also have to double check the status of their tenants.

    "What we are asking Missouri businesses to do is to participate in the ongoing efforts of the Department of Homeland Security and to run a citizenship check on potential applicants to a business. It's done through a program called the Basic Pilot Program. It doesn't take very long to do. It's very inexpensive and it's been set up with the needs of businesses in mind," said Sen. Chris Koster, Harrisonville.

    The director of Centro Latino, Eduardo Crepsi, disagrees with Sen. Koster. He says immigrants are doing the jobs Americans won't do.

    "They will not do those jobs. Doing what our latino people are being paid," said Eduardo Crespi, Centro Latino director.

    Koster disagrees and said that, "The accusation that there are jobs in America that Americans won't do is ridiculous."

    The heat on this bill is just getting started. It has yet to go to the floor of the House. The bill was introduced by Koster Tuesday. If the new immigration department is created, it would fall under the Secretary of State's office.


    Edited by: Jonathan Coffman
    Reported by: Jennifer Ayres


    Published: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 6:51 PM
    Last Updated: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 9:29 PM
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  3. #3
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    Let's hear it for the "show me" state.
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  4. #4
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    And let's here it for Sen. Koster!

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  5. #5
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    http://www.showmenews.com/2007/Feb/20070218News016.asp

    Bill requires immigration verification program

    Published Sunday, February 18, 2007
    JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A key element in a sweeping state effort to crack down on illegal immigration would rely on a federal worker verification program that has faced questions about its effectiveness.

    A bill pending in a Senate committee would bar illegal immigrants from receiving most social services and require employers, landlords, university admissions officials and police to verify immigration status. As part of that verification, Missouri businesses would be among the first in the nation required to enroll in the federal Basic Pilot Program.

    Basic Pilot uses existing federal databases to determine work eligibility and can only be used immediately after an employee is hired. It cannot be used to review existing employees and cannot be used to screen prospective employees.

    Sen. Chris Koster said most searches using the program work well and return an answer within seconds. "Pushing forward the usage of Basic Pilot is an infinitely better system that what we have today," said Koster, R-Harrisonville. "Today, we make employers view paper documents and judge for themselves whether they think an applicant is a legal citizen or not."

    Critics of the program, including immigrant rights groups and business groups, point to delays in getting results, faulty databases and what they say is discrimination against those born outside the United States.

    "Legislators don’t realize that Basic Pilot is not a magic bullet," said Tyler Moran, the employment policy director for the National Immigration Law Center.

    The program was created in 1997 by a Southern California congressman and initially designed as a test program to give willing employers in the five states with the most immigrants another option for checking the immigration status of their work force.

    Since then, many new state employees in Missouri must now be checked through the program, and Georgia and Colorado have signed laws requiring employers with state contracts to run checks through Basic Pilot.

    But immigrant rights groups and government overseers have reported problems with minimal oversight and employers abusing the checks. Moran said 45 percent of workers who were ruled not authorized to work had pay cuts and delayed job training until a final decision was made. Until the federal government makes a final decision, employees are not supposed to be punished.

    It’s not just advocacy groups questioning whether the Basic Pilot Program is ready.

    The Government Accountability Office - the watchdog arm of Congress - reported in a 2005 review of the Basic Pilot Program that the verification system needed to be improved before it should be required.

    The database problems center around lists maintained by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. Many of the lists are riddled with errors. Sometimes, last names are recorded as middle names, names are misspelled and records aren’t amended for hyphenated last names. Furthermore, the records are often dated and slow to reflect changes in immigration status that permit a foreign worker to get a job in the United States.
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  6. #6
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    Missouri is sure busy. Good for them.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    http://www.dailystatesman.com/story/1190948.html

    Missouri & other states taking illegal immigration in their own hands
    Friday, February 23, 2007
    By GARY EXEL

    In view of lack of action on illegal immigration at the federal level, many states, including Missouri, are taking matters into their own hands.
    Proposed legislation in the general assembly seeks to crack down sharply on illegals, providing for penalties not only for those who employ illegals but also for those who rent housing to them. Other legislation would permit - and in some cases require - state law enforcement personnel to enforce immigration laws.

    Senate Bill 348, introduced by state Sen. Chris Koster (R-31st District, including Harrisonville), calls for all employers in the state to participate in the federal Basic Pilot Program to verify an employee's work authorization status as a condition of employment. Any business found to employ illegal aliens will have certificates of incorporation or business licenses suspended till the violation ends.

    The Basic Pilot Program is a system of electronic verification of work authorization under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996.

    Likewise, anyone who rents any dwelling to an illegal immigrant can have his or her rental license and/or certificate of occupancy suspended or even denied till the violation ends.

    Under the bill, law enforcement officers will have to determine the immigration status of anyone they detain for any violation unless the inquiry would significantly extend the duration of the detention. If the detainee is illegal, law enforcement is to cooperate with requests from federal authorities holding and transfer.

    Senate Bill 348 would also bar illegal immigrants from attending public universities. Nor would such individuals be able to receive "any type of public assistance or benefit," in the words of the bill summary posted online at http://www.senate.mo.gov/07info/bts_web/Bill.aspx?....

    In addition, SB 348 would allow local governments to enact ordinances prohibiting employment of unauthorized aliens and to deny business licenses to employers who employ unlawful workers. At the same time, any local government that otherwise does not comply with the bill's enacted provisions risks losing state funding

    SB 348 has been read twice and is now in the Senate Pensions, Veterans' Affairs and General Laws Committee as of Jan. 25.

    The state House, not to be outdone, is considering a couple of bills meant to crack down on illegals as well. House Bill 889, sponsored by Rep. Ed Emery (R-126th District, including Lamar), is not as sweeping as SB 348, in that HB 889 focuses just on public assistance. It denies state or local public assistance to anyone who is not a citizen or legal immigrant. Anyone older than 18 years of age seeking such assistance would have to prove his or her legal resident status to be able to receive it.

    Under HB 889, an individual could receive benefits on a temporary basis for up to 90 days "or until such time that it is determined the applicant is not lawfully present in the United States, whichever is earlier," in the words of the bill as posted online at http://www.house.mo.gov/bills071/biltxt/intro/HB08....

    And, of course, anyone found to be in the country illegally gets reported to both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    Like the Senate, the House is also considering empowering state law enforcement authorities to enforce federal immigration laws. House Bill 851, by state Rep. Bob Onder (R-13th District, including Lake St. Louis), calls for the training of some or all members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol to enforce federal immigration laws on federal highways and interstates in Missouri, to the extent funding for such activity is available.
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