Public colleges in Missouri would be prohibited from enrolling illegal aliens, and would have to satisfy the legislature that they aren’t doing so, before getting any money from the state under a bill advancing in the House.
Rep. Jerry Nolte (R-Gladstone) defended his bill against criticism by Rep. Paul LeVota (D-Independence) who asserted enforcing immigration laws is a federal issue, not a state one. LeVota told Nolte it would seem that colleges willing to enroll illegal aliens in violation of federal law wouldn’t care all that much about state law.
Nolte responded, “Because they would be standing before an appropriations committee answering for that.”
Nolte’s bill, HCS#2 HB 1463 , would require public college officials to certify to the House and Senate budget committees that they haven’t knowingly enrolled any illegal immigrants before the legislature would release money to their institutions.
During House floor debate, several state representatives criticized the measure as a veiled attack on immigrants, bordering on racism.
Rep. Kevin Wilson (R-Neosho) tired of arguments against the bill, asserting it merely upholds the law against those here illegally, “The folks back home ask me that all the time; what part of illegal do the people in Jefferson City not understand?”
The bill needs another favorable vote to move to the Senate.