JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Senate passed a bill today that would limit the freedoms of illegal aliens residing in Missouri.
The bill's next step is the Missouri House of Representatives, which has a history of passing bills restricting the rights of illegal aliens. The bill would prohibit universities and junior colleges from admitting any aliens residing unlawfully in the United States that were not born on or before August 28, 2008. In order to continue to receive state funding, schools will have to prove to the Education Appropriations Committees of both the House and the Senate that they have not admitted any such illegal residents.
Illegal aliens would be ineligible for any state or local public benefits, such as loans or grants under the new bill. However, the illegal residents would still receive emergency medical attention when necessary. Also, the bill would leave unemployment programs across the state responsible for determining if illegal residents should receive unemployment benefits.
The bill would require businesses receiving more than 5,000 dollars in state funding to affirm periodically their participation in the Federal Work Authorization Program, a program designed to electronically verify information of newly hired employees.
The proposed bill would also make it possible to fine employers who don't submit requested employee information. These fines would go into the newly created Missouri Worker Protection Fund. The fund will be administered by the State Treasurer and will be used to implement the Federal Work Authorization Program.
The Missouri State Senate also weighed in on the debate over driver's license eligibility for illegal immigrants. The new bill states that Missouri will not issue driver's licenses to illegal aliens, and will "not extend full faith and credit to out-of-state driver's licenses issued to illegal aliens.
The law concerning illegal immigrants under arrest would be modified under the new bill as well. There would be a "presumption" that releasing an illegal alien after arrest would make it unlikely for them to return to jail. The new bill gives judges the power to hold the person in jail without bail if they cannot prove lawful residence in the United States. The bill will be passed on to the Missouri House of Representatives for further review and final ratification.