Blunt continues tough stance against illegals
November 26, 2007
SPRINGFIELD - Adding to his tough directives to fight illegal immigration in Missouri, Gov. Matt Blunt today announced he will seek legislation that bars the state from issuing Missouri driver licenses to illegal immigrants as well as imposes criminal penalties for those who assist illegal aliens in obtaining driver licenses and abetting fraud.

“The New York governor concocted a scheme to issue driver licenses to illegal immigrants,” Blunt said. “A plan like that might sound good to politicians in New York City or Washington, D.C., but it would not be good here in Missouri. Under my plan, people who are here illegally will not get a driver license. And if anyone tries to help them get one, they will be prosecuted, and punished.”

Proactive in the fight against illegal immigration in Missouri, Blunt directed state law enforcement agencies to verify the immigration status of every criminal presented for incarceration. The governor’s administration is also working with immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) for authority under Section 287g of the Immigration and Nationality Act that would deputize state law enforcement officers to enforce federal laws and protect Missourians against illegal immigration. The agreement will allow select troopers, Capitol Police, and water patrol officers to help enforce immigration laws. He sent a letter earlier this month asking Missouri’s congressional delegation to support and help expedite his request.

Blunt has offered his support to local law enforcement and prosecutors in their efforts in the fight against illegal immigration and reminds prosecutors that state law declares employers of illegal immigrants ineligible for state tax credits, tax abatements, or loans. Receipt of tax credits by employers of illegal immigrants is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison. In addition he took significant steps to shield taxpayers’ money from supporting building projects that employ illegal workers and issued a letter to the Missouri Housing Development Commission outlining principles for the commission to consider regarding illegal immigration that include possible sanctions of up to a lifetime ban of contractors and developers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants in violation of federal law.

Earlier this year Blunt canceled the state’s contract with Sam’s Janitorial Services and barred them from doing further business with the state. A law enforcement action initiated by the governor’s administration in coordination with ICE resulted in the arrest of 22 suspected illegal immigrants working for Sam's. Seven were immediately deported, 11 were charged and the status of the remaining four is pending the conclusion of an investigation. Immediately following this action, Blunt also ordered state agencies to enact a no tolerance policy through tough new contract protections.

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In support of governor's policy on illegalswilliam235402008-02-25 18:00:44