Groups Urged to Fight Initiative on Immigrants

7 years 5 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, August 09 2011 Aug 9, 2011 Tuesday, August 09, 2011 9:07:00 AM CDT August 09, 2011 in News
By: Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Opponents are vowing to fight a proposed initiative that would require Springfield businesses to check employees' immigration status or face losing their licenses.

A capacity crowd met Monday to discuss ways to defeat a proposal by the Ozarks Minutemen to get the proposal before city voters. The Springfield News-Leader reports that the crowd included Hispanic immigrants, non-Hispanics, members of the NAACP, church pastors and business leaders.

The proposal would require Springfield employers to use the federal government's E-Verify program to check employees' status. Those that don't could be fined $499 and have their business license suspended.

Mark Struckhoff, executive director of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks, says he's disturbed by the message the initiative would send to immigrants and Hispanics.

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