Lawmakers lay the groundwork for immigration debate in Missouri

They met today in Lebanon.
They met today in Lebanon.(kytv)
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 6:36 PM CDT
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LEBANON, Mo. (KY3) - An interim Missouri Senate committee met in Lebanon on Wednesday afternoon to discuss immigration.

“The purpose of the committee is to combat illegal immigration in the state of Missouri, whether it be drug trafficking, or for the purpose of drug trafficking, or human trafficking, and the form of human trafficking, most of the time is exploitation of labor,” said Senator Justin Brown, a Republican from Phelps County.

Republican State Senator Brown chairs the committee which heard testimony on how illegal immigration impacts Missourians.

”Think the biggest complaint that these contractors have, or that there’s there’s some big big players are big contractors. In the state, they’re more towards our urban areas that are falsifying information as far as how many employees they have, and they’re paying cash to illegal workers, that a significantly less rate,” said State Senator Brown.

State Senator Barbara Washington, a Democrat from Kansas City, says her district serves a lot of undocumented immigrants. She wants to make sure there is protection for entering the country legally.

”Looking at immigration to make sure that those who are coming to America, the legal way, are protected, as well as those who are coming here for asylum and may have had to come in illegally, that we’re making sure that they are not abused,” said State Senator Washington.

She hopes to strengthen laws against hiring illegal workers.

”I think we need to put more punishment. I think everyone in that room is an agreement that we need to focus on, who is hiring them, so that we can, if you stop that person that’s hiring them and punish them correctly, then the influx of illegal immigrants coming to our community would decrease,” said State Senator Washington.

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