BRIDGE AND ROAD WORK AHEADMoDOT recently had a ribbon cutting for the Fishing River Bridge on 10 Highway in Excelsior Springs.
One bridge has been completed on Route A near Hardin, and they have started work on the other bridge scheduled for repair.
Another bridge on N highway is being repaired. The bridge over 69 Highway in Excelsior Springs is closed for major repairs.
Double E highway is to have extensive work perform this December. Bids will be let in October. Cost is expected to be in the $250,000 range.
IMMIGRATION LEGISLATIONIn light of the current legislation passed in Arizona, it might be helpful to review the actions of Missouri's General Assembly.
In 2007, the Legislature passed a law [HJR7] making English the language for all official proceedings in Missouri.
In the 2008 Session, the General Assembly passed HB 1549. This law changed the statute regarding illegal aliens and immigration status verification. This legislation was described at the time as among the toughest measures in the country to deal with illegal immigration. Key provisions include;
EMPLOYMENTBusiness entities and employers are prohibited from knowingly employing, hiring, or continuing to employ illegal aliens in Missouri. Participation in E-Verify is required for all public employers and business entities receiving a state contract or grant in excess of $5,000 or a state-administered tax credit, tax abatement, or loan from the state. Participation in a federal work authorization program is an affirmative defense to an allegation that a business entity knowingly hired an illegal alien.
Failing to provide identity information on employees within 15 business days after receipt of the request by the Attorney General will result in the suspension of a company's applicable local licenses, permits, and exemptions until the information is supplied.
Knowingly employing an illegal alien will result in the suspension of a company's applicable local licenses, permits, and exemptions for 14 days. A second violation will result in suspension for a period of one year, and a third or subsequent violation will result in permanent suspension.
If a business with a state contract or grant or state-administered tax credit, tax abatement, or loan from the state has employed illegal aliens the contract will be terminated and the suspended from doing business with the state for a period of three years. Additional violations will result a permanent ban from doing business in this state. The state may withhold up to 25% of the total amount due to the business entity upon termination of the contract.
The Attorney General must maintain a database documenting any business entity whose license, permit, or exemption has been suspended or whose state contract has been terminated. Failure by a municipality or county to suspend any applicable license or permit of a violator as directed by the Attorney General within 15 business days after notification will be deemed a violation of the sanctuary cities provision and subject the municipality or county to the specified penalties.
SANCTUARY CITIESAny county, city, town, or village is prohibited from enacting a sanctuary policy. If they enact a sanctuary policy, they will be ineligible for money provided through grants administered by the state of Missouri until the policy is repealed or is no longer in effect.
A government entity or official or political subdivision violates the sanctuary city provision if it prohibits or restricts communicating or cooperating with federal officials on the immigration status of any person in this state. Any member of the General Assembly may request that the Attorney General issue an opinion as to whether the government agency or political subdivision has sanctuary city.
LAW ENFORCEMENTAn arresting law enforcement agency is required within 48 hours to verify through the United States Department of Homeland Security the lawful immigration status of a person charged with a crime and held in confinement if verification cannot be made from documents in the possession of the prisoner or after a reasonable effort by the arresting agency. Upon verification that the prisoner is an illegal alien, the arresting agency must notify the federal department
If a judge reasonably believes that a person is an illegal alien, bail will be denied until the person can provide verification of lawful presence in the United States.
DRIVER'S LICENSESThe Department of Revenue is prohibited from issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens and persons who cannot prove lawful presence in the United States. Missouri will not extend full faith and credit to out-of-state driver's licenses issued to illegal aliens.
The commercial driver's license written test must only be given in English. Translators will not be allowed for applicants taking the test.
It is against the law to assist any person during a driver's license, non-driver's license, or instruction permit examination process when that person knows or recklessly disregards the truth that a fraud or deception is being committed. Or assisting any person in applying for a driver's license, non-driver's license, or instruction permit when that person knows or recklessly disregards the truth that the application contains or is substantiated with false or fraudulent information or documentation, conceals a material fact, or is otherwise fraudulent or engaging in a conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts or aiding or abetting in the commission of any of the acts. Violation of this provision is a class A misdemeanor.
PUBLIC BENEFITSAliens unlawfully present in the United States are prohibited from receiving a state or local public benefit unless it is offered under 8 U.S.C. 1621(b. Documentary evidence accepted by the Department of Revenue for obtaining a driver's license will suffice as proof of citizenship, permanent residency, or lawful immigration status. Nonprofit organizations regulated by the Internal Revenue Service are not required to enforce these restrictions, nor are they prohibited from providing aid.
TRANSPORTING ILLEGAL ALIENSAny person knowingly transporting an illegal alien in this state for the purpose of trafficking in violation of Sections 566.200 - 566.215, drug trafficking in violation of Sections 195.222 and 195.223, prostitution in violation of Chapter 567, or employment will be guilty of a felony punishable with imprisonment for not less than one year, a fine of not less than $1,000, or both.
In the 2009 Session the General Assembly passed HB 390.
This law prohibits college or university students who are unlawfully present in the United States from receiving financial aid, including institutional aid awarded by public postsecondary educational institutions and state-administered postsecondary grants and scholarships awarded by all postsecondary educational institutions. All postsecondary institutions of higher education must annually certify to the Department of Higher Education that they have not knowingly awarded financial aid to a student who is unlawfully present in the United States.
This session there were three bills considered by the General Assembly on the issue of illegal immigration. None passed but may be reconsidered:
HB 1231 DRIVER'S LICENSE EXAMINATIONSThis bill requires Missouri driver's license examinations to be administered in English so that the applicant can demonstrate his or her ability to sufficiently understand highway traffic signs and safety warnings. The Director of the Department of Revenue cannot supply or permit the use of language interpreters in connection with the required written and driving tests.
HCS HB 1383 UNAUTHORIZED ALIENS SEXUAL OFFENDERSThis bill would add national citizenship to the information that must be included on a sexual offender registration form and requires the State Highway Patrol to report to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement or other appropriate federal agency certain information regarding any person on the sexual offender registry who is not a citizen of the United States.
HB 2449 HUMAN TRAFFICKINGThis bill creates the crime of trafficking for the purpose of illegal immigration if a person, in exchange for anything of value, knowingly transports or assists in the transport of an illegal immigrant within Missouri with the intent to violate federal immigration laws under Title 8 of the United States Code. Anyone who commits this crime will be guilty of a class B felony.
This bill also makes it a crime for a person to conceal, harbor, or shelter from detection any illegal alien knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the illegal alien has entered or remained in the country illegally. It is also a crime for an illegal alien to transport himself or herself in the state of Missouri. Anyone who commits this crime will be guilty of a felony punishable by not less than one year's imprisonment, a fine of not less than $1,000, or both.
It is worth noting that the legality of many of these laws were questioned by opponents with the threat of taking the state to court and overturn these laws. I am aware of no court challenge to any of these laws and none of them has been successfully challenged in court.
One of the main sources of technical and other information for the laws passed in Missouri was Kris Kobach Professor of Law at UMKC. He has in his capacity as an attorney represented parties advocating for stricter laws regarding illegal immigration in Missouri and nationwide. He was involved in Arizona's latest laws.
(Immigration information provided by Representative Jerry Nolte)