The state senate approves a proposed law getting tough with illegal immigrants. But one senator finds the thought behind it lamentable.
It’s a matter of conscience for Senator Jeff Smith, one of only seven Senators to vote against the bill that penalizes employers who hire illegal immigrants, keeps illegal immigrants from getting public benefits, and denies them bail if they’re arrested.
Smith says his district includes a lot of immigrants from a large number of nations. He points to author Richard Florida who says cities and states that tolerate immigrants or people of alternate life styles show sharp economic growth.
He says he laments the message Missouri is sending to people who could be productive and be important additions to the state’s diversity.
Smith says he knows so many people who were doctors or engineers in their home countries who have come here and do janitorial or housekeeping work so their children can have a better life than they have. That’s why he says any bill that–as he sees it–constrains their ability to do that, he is troubled.
The Senate has sent the bill to the House, 26-7.
The bill is SB 858 et al