|JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt today asked Missouri's Congressional delegation to ensure illegal immigrants do not receive tax rebates as part of the proposed economic stimulus package being debated by Congress.
"I am very concerned about recent reports which have shed light on the fact that the proposed economic stimulus package could put tax rebates into the hands of illegal immigrants. These rebates should only go to hard-working, tax paying, legal residents, not illegal immigrants," the governor wrote in a letter to Missouri's Congressional Delegation. "Quite frankly, the possibility that illegal immigrants could receive the tax rebates proposed by the economic stimulus effort only amplifies the federal government's failure to adequately address this problem."
In Missouri there are important safeguards to ensure illegal immigrants do not receive tax refunds. There are several triggers that would automatically mark a tax return as incorrect and possibly fraudulent, preventing a tax refund from being issued to an illegal immigrant. For example, if someone submits a 1040 tax return to the Missouri Department of Revenue with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in lieu of a Social Security number, and he or she attaches a W2 to the return that includes a Social Security number, this person will have to validate the Social Security number before any refund will be issued.
Blunt is taking aggressive steps to curb illegal immigration in Missouri. The governor is working with ICE for authority under Section 287g of the Immigration and Nationality Act to help enforce immigration laws. Missouri also began verifying the legal status of every person presented for incarceration in Missouri, and since that directive, state law enforcement officers have turned 145 illegal immigrants over to federal authority.
He also has called for legislation to strengthen Missouri's laws to prevent illegals from obtaining driver licenses and tough new penalties for anyone who tries to help them obtain one. The governor is also proposing legislation that prohibits the creation of sanctuary cities in the state, requires verification of legal employment status of every public employee, cancellation of state contracts for contractors if they hire illegal immigrants, and legislation criminalizing the transportation of illegal immigrants for purposes of human trafficking, drug trafficking, prostitution or illegal labor.