Bill Could Relax State Immigration Laws
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's immigration laws could be relaxed under a bill presented to a senate committee Tuesday morning.
Bill sponsor Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, said the state's current laws dealing with undocumented immigrants have unintended consequences that deny basic rights to them. She said undocumented immigrants have been denied basic services such as hospital care as a result of the law, enacted in 2008.
Chappelle-Nadal's bill would repeal several sections of the immigration law, including:
- Requiring commercial drivers' license tests to be administered only in English
- Banning employers from knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants
- Preventing undocumented immigrants from accessing public benefits, such as hospital care
Sen. Gary Romine, a Farmington Republican who did research for the current law, said the biggest problem is federal legislation that prevents the states from putting together their own documentation systems. He said looking at the effects of certain provisions is a good idea, but the overall immigration law had positive effects.