By Heartland News
(KFVS) - U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson wants to get tough on businesses that hire illegal workers.
She's proposing a bill that would make hiring illegal immigrants and lying about it a felony.
Communities across southeast Missouri have to deal with undocumented workers on local job sites, according to Rep. Emerson.
It happened at a construction site in Farmington back in February.
Deputies with the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department arrested 14 illegal immigrants working on the site.
Emerson says the Legal Employment Check Off Act of 2010 would require employers to check a box on their tax returns showing they did not knowingly hire anyone who is not authorized to work in the U.S.
If investigators find the company actually did employ illegal immigrants, prosecutors would be able to pursue felony charges.
The congresswoman went on to say American businesses have an obligation every time they hire someone to check identification, social security numbers or work visas.
She says ignoring that responsibility hurts our communities and our country.