Missouri Shows the Way on Illegal Immigration

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White Hawthorn, Missouri's state flower

Missouri is the “Show Me” state. Now, the state is showing the rest of America how to deal with the illegal migrants problem, as claimed by an e-mail that was forwarded to me by Fellowship co-founder Joan.
Happily, I am able to verify that the claims in the e-mail are authentic by tracing their source to an op-ed written by a Missouri state representative, Nita Jane Ayres, for the Ozarks Sentinel, May 13, 2010.
You go, Missouri!

Seen in a pro-illegal demonstration in Arizona after the state passed SB 1070

Missouri Ahead of the Game in Dealing with Illegal Immigrants

Editor’s Note: The following appeared in our [The Ozarks Sentinel] May 13 issue and is written by State Representative Nita Jane Ayres. Nita Jane Ayres has agreed to write a follow-up editorial which will appear in our print edition on June 24. The follow-up will take a close look at the state’s legislation and how it deals with illegal immigrants.
We’re down to one week to go in the legislative session and bills are moving through the process at a remarkable pace. My goal is to keep you updated on all the pieces of legislation that may be of interest to you and your family. In the coming weeks, I hope to do that. However, this week I want to talk about an issue that Missouri has already addressed in a variety of ways – the issue of illegal immigration. I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines about Arizona’s new law aimed at dealing with those who enter our country illegally. It has been called the strictest immigration law in generations. While Missouri hasn’t gone to the same lengths as Arizona, our state has made significant policy changes that effectively deal with illegal immigrants who enter our state. Because of those changes, Missouri is ahead of the game when compared to many other states that are now dealing with this issue.
In 2007, the Missouri General Assembly approved HJR 7 to place on the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment designating English as the official language of Missouri. Voters then went to the polls and approved the measure with nearly 90 percent voting in favor. With that, English became the official language for all governmental proceedings in Missouri. It also means no individual has the right to demand government services in a language other than English. A common language is the cornerstone of a cohesive and united state and country. Ensuring that English is our official language is simply common sense.
Another measure that directly addresses the issue of illegal immigration was passed in 2008. HB 1549 requires our Highway Patrol and other law enforcement officials to verify the immigration status of any person arrested, and inform federal authorities if the person is found to be here illegally. It also allows Missouri law enforcement officers to receive training to enforce federal immigration laws. Furthermore, the bill makes it clear that illegal immigrants will not have access to taxpayer benefits such as food stamps and health care through MO HealthNet. With the passage of this legislation, Missouri sent a clear message that illegal immigrants are not welcome in our state, and that they are certainly not welcome to receive public benefits at the cost of Missouri taxpayers.
2009 saw another significant piece of legislation passed dealing with illegal immigration. HB 390 ensures Missouri’s public institutions of higher education do not award financial aid to individuals who are here illegally. The law also requires all postsecondary institutions of higher education to annually certify to the Missouri Department of Higher Education that they have not knowingly awarded financial aid to students who are unlawfully present in the United States. The bill represents another common sense approach to the issue as it ensures taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize the education of someone who is in our country illegally.

So while Arizona has made national news for its new law, it’s important to remember Missouri has been proactive in addressing this growing problem. The laws we have on the books help ensure the rights and benefits of Missourians are preserved for actual Missouri citizens. It’s also important to remember that this country has always opened its arms to immigrants, which is why our nation is often referred to as the great melting pot. Immigrants from all parts of the world have helped make our country what it is today. However, our doors are not open to those who try to live in our country illegally. I believe Missouri’s laws make that very clear and give our law enforcement officials the authority they need to deal with the problem.
Thanks again for allowing me to represent you in the state capitol. Feel free to contact me with your concerns, suggestions and ideas. My office phone is 573-751-2492. Email address: nitajane.ayres@house.mo.gov Or write to: State Representative Nita Jane Ayres, House Post Office, State Capitol, Room 233-A, Jefferson City, MO 65101.
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0 responses to “Missouri Shows the Way on Illegal Immigration

  1. This is wonderful to see. Unfortunately I live in Maryland where Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin believe in illegal immigration and would give away more if they could. They completely endorse The Dream Act , heck they even support Mr. Soetero .

  2. Thank you Missouri, my home state!!! Although I live in Maryland, Missouri is my birth state and I consider it my home state. You make me very proud. Milkulski and Cardin are so liberal they can’t see how much the illegals are costing the taxpayers or they just don’t care. Midwesterners are the salt of the earth and our values are what this country needs. The East and West coast would do well to adopt them. Thanks again Missouri for your common sense approach to the illegals.

  3. Since HB 1549 went into effect, it is fair to say it has been a failure. Last summer, Missouri Lawyers Weekly reported that only 10 legitimate complaints had been filed against employers resulting in zero enforcement actions. One of the most cited sources for immigrant population statistics, the Pew Hispanic Center, has adjusted its estimates of “illegal” immigrants in the state upwards by 25% – from 45,000 to 60,000.
    If Missouri is leading, who in their right minds would follow?
    This is just another of Kris Kobach’s policy failures.

  4. L. Dean Richardson

    Thank you for doing something for the AMERICAN people. If we had more congressmen-Women in the goverment working for the American people we would be in far better shape. Thank you again and God Bless. A concerned American.
    L. Dean Richardson

  5. i think they have just as much right here as we do so why dont you people leave them alone and by all means if they are killing stealing or beatn up on sum one yea send their asses back but just for working jobs that white and blacks aint going to do is dumb to be honesty lets see what we are going to do when we dont have them to do our veggies and fruits

    • and it is also unfair to those millions of aspiring LEGAL (law-abiding) immigrants who patiently apply for and wait in line for admission into the United States. They would also like a chance at those jobs you speak of, as well as free education (and school lunches too!) for their children, and free emergency-room healthcare for themselves and their families.
      Just what exactly about the word “illegal” that you don’t understand?

    • What you think does not magically make it legal.

    • you are a traitor. your people have caused tremendous harm to americans. you are also a liar. illegals take 85 of every 100 low level jobs in CA and they have depressed our wages. in 2006 per DHS they kill 5000 Americans yearly, molest 3500 children a year and there were 280.000 sex offenders. wow, what a contribution. Hispanics are historically LAZY AND CRIMINAL.DEPORT ALL OF YOU NOW

  6. Hey, Amy Hernandez! Apparently Obama is taking care of our fruits. That just leaves the veggies for you.

  7. Missouri is my home state,and the home state of Harry Truman, the last really good president. Most of the rest have caused me to vote Republican.

  8. I do want people who are here to be legal. The problem lies also in the government immigration laws. It is nearly immpossible to come here legally. I am trying to bring my inlaws as legal residents and have been trying nearly a year to do it. The reason they cannot….because I dont make enough money. They would legally be okayed to work but I have to make enough money so that if they apply for benefits I can pay it back. They own their own land, farm, and are ok off. They basically want to be able to come when they have a chance. They don’t want to live here and I don’t agree with this law. I know that as much as people say we are not benefitted by them being here they also do benefit by being here illegally or not. They when illegal working they pay in ss and medicare and will never be able to touch it.

  9. Pingback: How Missouri Handles Illegals | novatownhall blog

  10. The “road to citizenship for illegals” is back in the news. If they are going to create a path to citizenship they MUST stop all new illegal border crossings by making the penalty for employing them (cash job usually) so severe no one would employ an illegal.(except Nancy Pelosi and Barbra Boxer who are above the law)


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