Governor Matt Blunt (R-MO) has announced a set of tough new initiatives intended to crack down on the problems associated with illegal immigration.
The Governor is directing all law enforcement units in the Department of Public Safety – the Highway Patrol, Water Patrol, and Capitol Police – to prepare for special training and deputizing that allows state law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration law as authorized through the Immigration and Nationality Act. He is also directing that these law enforcement units verify the immigration status, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), of every individual who is incarcerated. This would be done through the ICE computer background checks.
Blunt says Missouri’s doors must always be open to legal immigrants, but the state cannot condone lawbreaking. The Governor has written U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to apply for what is known as 287 (g) status for state law enforcement officials as well as for local law enforcement wanting to take part in the effort to help enforce federal immigration law. Part of the effort involves what is known as Live Scan technology, which allows fingerprints to be scanned in the field.