New bill cracks down on deported immigrants who commit crimes

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COLUMBIA — A proposal made for the upcoming legislative session could crack down on immigrants living illegally in Missouri.

Under Senate Bill 34, deported immigrants who come back and commit any assault or felony offense could face up to 10 years in prison for “illegal re-entry.” The bill would also direct inmates to federal immigration authorities. 

Executive Director of Centro Latino Eduardo Crespi said he is indifferent about the bill.

"If they commit a felony, then they have a legal problem. There is no straight answer for that. If they have a legal problem, then they have to deal with it," Crespi said. "Why do they have a felony? I don't know. They might have done something wrong. People have felonies because they did something wrong. The immigration laws are immigration laws and people have to follow them one way or another."

Sen. Mike Cunningham proposed the bill Thursday after a similar bill failed to pass last legislative session. National Conference of State Legislatures spokesman Mick Bullock said Missouri is the first and only state to consider such a bill.

KOMU 8 News reached out to Cunningham and the Missouri Republican Party and were not available for comment.