Missouri Senate passes new penalty for immigrant criminals
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Senate has passed legislation to increase penalties for some immigrants who enter the country illegally and commit crimes.
Senators voted 26-6 Thursday to send the bill to the House.
The measure would apply to immigrants who have previously been deported for a violent or dangerous crime and later commit another crime in Missouri or elsewhere.
Those immigrants could be punished for "illegal re-entry" to Missouri under the legislation.
Republican sponsor Sen. Mike Cunningham has said immigrants who commit those crimes are the "scum of the Earth."
The legislation comes as Mexican national Pablo Serrano-Vitorino is awaiting a preliminary hearing. He's accused of killing a man in Missouri and four others in Kansas.
Republican Sen. Bob Dixon says he doesn't believe creating a new crime is necessary.