A Missouri Senate committee is targeting Kansas City over Mayor Quinton Lucas’s invitation to immigrants to move there and find work. As the Senate Appropriations Committee was finishing up its work on the state budget Wednesday, it added language that would strip state funding away from any city or town in Missouri that declares itself a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.

Earlier this month, Lucas was quoted in a Bloomberg article saying that immigrants with legal clearance to work in the United States were welcome to come to Kansas City and help offset the city’s worker shortage. He has since doubled-down on his invitation on social media and to local media.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and Attorney General Andrew Bailey, both Republicans, have both said the mayor’s invitation would violate state law.

The anti-sanctuary city language has been added to each budget bill before being voted out of committee.

Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, said he’s reviewing the budget wording to see what the impact could be. He sits on the House Budget Committee.

“It is politics,” said Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis.

Merideth said some Republicans are lying about what Lucas said.

“Kansas City suddenly declaring itself a sanctuary city, which of course, is not at all what the mayor did or said. In fact, they couldn’t do that, even if they wanted to with a police force that’s under state control,” said Merideth. “We all know it’s a lie.”

The Senate is expected to vote on the state budget proposal next week.

The Missouri Legislature’s deadline to pass the fiscal blueprint is May 10.

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