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Special Committee will look into illegal immigration in Missouri

April 10, 2006
By: Tim Walker
State Capital Bureau

Illegal Immigration continues to spark debate on the national level, and now the state of Missouri plans to look into the problem. Tim Walker has more from Jefferson City.

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Missouri House Speaker Rod Jetton announced the formation of a committee to deal with growing illegal immigration in the state.

Jetton says he formed the committee to deal with what says are severe negative impacts of illegal immigrants in the state.

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"Are there some things, regardless of the federal laws, that we can do with employers with our bureaucracy, with law enforcement, with higher ed., that may have a positive impact on attracting immigrants to the state; legal immigrants."

The announcement comes on the heels of proposed legislation to tighten immigration rules in the state.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Walker.

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Illegal Immigration is a hot topic on the national stage, and the Missouri statehouse is no different.

Tim Walker has more from Jefferson City.

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On the same day lawmakers debated proposed immigration restrictions in the state Judiciary Committee, a new committee was announced to address growing concerns over illegal immigration in Missouri.

Republican House Speaker Rod Jetton announced the formation of the Special Committee on Immigration Reform because he says right now there many problems and few solutions.

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"There are probably some things that maybe we can or should do to make sure our employers are following all the rules and doing it properly, but at this point we just don't know how bad the problem is or what's actually happening."

The committee will begin work after the current legislative session and plan to have several public hearings.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Walker.

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At the same time proposed legislation in the Missouri statehouse could tighten laws on illegal immigration, lawmakers at the capitol announced they plan to look into illegal immigration in the state. Tim Walker has more Jefferson City.

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Missouri House Speaker Rod Jetton announced the formation of the Special Committee on Immigration Reform because he says it isn't clear how Missouri should deal with illegal immigration in the state.

Jetton says it is not clear how many illegal immigrants are in Missouri, but he hopes the committee will find some clear conclusions.

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"How big of a problem is it and are there some ways Missouri can change its laws of its system to track those folks and identify them a little better so that we don't have the illegal, but then hopefully encourage the legal immigrants."

Southwest Missouri Representative Ed Emery will chair the committee.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Walker.

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Some Missouri lawmakers hope a new committee on immigration reform will have positive effects. Tim Walker has more from Jefferson City.

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Southwest Missouri state Representative Ed Emery will chair a new committee charged with looking into illegal immigration in Missouri.

Emery says he hopes immigration reform in the state will benefit abused illegal immigrants in the state.

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"Some of these illegal immigrants have a great deal of pressure on them to keep still and to keep their heads down even when there may be abuses because they are illegal and they know they're illegal."

The committee plans to hold public hearings on the issue later this spring.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Walker