Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt (R) has announced a new drive to strengthen his state's immigration enforcement efforts. Some new proposals he's offering:

· Prepare for special 287(g) training and deputization that allows state law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration law as authorized through section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

· Encourage and assist local law enforcement to apply for 287(g) status and to otherwise offer state assistance, resources and support including making available Live Scan for local law enforcement agencies that will use it. To date, the state has invested more than $2 million of homeland security money in Live Scan, which allows fingerprints to be scanned in the field.

· Verify the immigration status of every individual presented for incarceration with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) computer background status check and to complete full background checks on any accompanying adults. Anyone identified as illegal will be detained to prevent them from committing any crimes.
He has also attempted other changes, including steps toward worker verification for state contractors:
He recently sent a letter to the Missouri Housing Development Commission outlining principles for the commission to consider regarding illegal immigration that include possible sanctions of up to a lifetime ban of contractors and developers who knowingly employs illegal immigrants in violation of federal law.

The letter follows the governor’s tough stand against illegal immigration and workers. Earlier this year Gov. Blunt ousted a state contractor who hired illegal workers and ordered state agencies to enact a no tolerance policy through tough new contract protections. The governor cancelled the state’s contract with Sam’s Janitorial Services and barred them from doing further business with the state after local and federal law enforcement agencies identified dozens of suspected illegal immigrants working under falsified documents.

Blunt also authored the state’s first directive to audit all contractors to ensure that the contract employees are legally eligible to work in the U.S. and to terminate contracts if it is determined a contractor employs illegal immigrants. He added tough provisions in state contracts to allow the state to immediately cancel contracts if it determines the contractor knowingly has employees not eligible to work in the U.S. and to require contractors to certify that all their employees meet state and federal employment eligibility requirements.