Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has drawn the ire of some Missouri Republicans over his invitation to migrants to move there and find work. Lucas was quoted in a Bloomberg article saying that migrants with legal clearance to work in the United States were welcome to come to Kansas City and help offset the city’s worker shortage.

Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, is the latest Republican speaking out.

“We just saw Mayor Quinton Lucas from Kansas City,” he said. “He’s been saying that he’s been talking to the mayors in Denver as well as New York City to bring those illegal immigrants here to help with the workforce. We don’t want illegal aliens here in the state.”

Hoskins, a member of the right-leaning Freedom Caucus, has filed legislation that proposes tough restrictions for immigrants who have illegally entered the U.S. and reside in Missouri.

“What Senate Bill 1520 would do, it would make it a state crime in order to be an illegal alien here in the state,” Hoskins said. “Put a $10,000 fine and then deport any illegal alien that’s not supposed to be here back to wherever they came from. I think this is very important.”

Despite filing the bill earlier this year, Hoskins is calling on his colleagues to advance his bill due to Lucas’s invitation to migrants to move there and find work.

Meanwhile, as the Senate Appropriations Committee was finishing up its work on the state budget, it added language that would strip state funding away from any city or town in Missouri that declares itself a sanctuary city for immigrants here illegally.

Lucas has since doubled down on his immigration invitation.

Hoskins said that Kansas City is not a sanctuary city.

“We’ve seen the problems that they’ve caused in New York City, as well as Denver. No matter what TV station you watch, we’ve seen crime increase,” he said. “We’ve seen drug use increase. We don’t want that in Kansas City. We don’t want that in Missouri. So, I would just say, hey, mayors of Denver and New York City, keep the illegal immigrants. You all are sanctuary cities; we are not a sanctuary state.”

Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, who sits on the House Budget Committee, said that some Republicans are lying about what Lucas said, calling it politics.

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