Missouri's Immigration Law

8 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago Friday, July 30 2010 Jul 30, 2010 Friday, July 30, 2010 11:13:31 AM CDT July 30, 2010 in News
DRESDEN - Arizona's immigration law would have gone into full force on Thursday, had a judge not placed a preliminary injunction blocking the more controversial aspects of the law on July 28.

However, not many people are aware that Missouri passed an immigration that predates Arizona's law by two years.

Missouri House Bill 1549, which requires law enforcement to check the legal status of person when arrested, has been in effect since 2008.

"Under Missouri's current law, an officer, if they pull over a person that doesn't have a driver's license, they can detain that person and check their immigration status, if they find out that person is illegal they automatically have to call immigration," says Breanne Ardila, an Immigration Attorney.

And that is exactly how officers caught Penny Rangel's husband Jose, who was living illegally in the United States.

"It happened to be a traffic stop and he was arrested when they checked his immigration status," says Rangel.

The pair had been married for eight and a half years, but despite the marriage, the couple was not able to secure citizenship for Rangel.

"We tried, we went to an attorney, we filed the first form, it was approved but then after that he was to go back to Mexico. Once he crossed that border he automatically instated a twenty year bar from the US which means that he can't come back for twenty years, as old as we are now, that means he couldn't come back till we were sixty . " says Rangel.

Today, Rangel got news her husband would be deported on Friday.

As of the end of last week, these are just the Missouri Highway patrol totals, we had actually taken into custody 585 individuals and turned them over to ICE. That comes out to just over 16 people per month.

And Louis Anesi is grateful to law enforcement for the job they are doing.

"We have laws in our country that pertain to everybody. If you don't enforce one law, why enforce any of them? It'd soon be we can hunt and pick which ones we want to enforce," says Anesi.

Anesi says immigration laws are important because there are not borders between the states.

"It's like a wagon wheel, if one spoke gets loose, it affects the whole wheel, if one state gets crowded with drugs, lack of law enforcement actually migrates to the other states. We're not isolated in this country anymore," says Anesi.

Rangel may agree with Anesi about keeping criminals out of the country, but she sees a difference between a criminal and an illegal.

"These people are not criminals, they are here illegally, and yes according to our laws that is against the law, but they don't deserve to be in prison with killers."

This year the Missouri house of representatives looked into passing an immigration bill similar to Arizonans, however, that bill was tabled, but one of its sponsors says he thinks it is likely it will be reintroduced next year.
    

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