In his latest column, Rep. Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, says his constituents are tired of nothing being done about the problem of illegal aliens. That being said, he wanted to make clear that his stance was only against immigration of the illegal variety:
Now on to the Immigration Committee hearing. When I testified I told the committee that I was testifying as a private citizen who had almost 20 years of Human Resource experience but I also wanted to testify as to what my constituents had been telling me with regards to their thoughts on immigration. I let them know that folks in Southwest Missouri were tired of inaction on this issue and that since special interests in Washington were holding up action then the state needed to do whatever it could to address illegal aliens in Missouri.
The hearing lasted over 3 hours and I felt that the committee very much wants to be proactive on this issue. Much of the discussion centered around sanctions against employers who knowingly employ illegals and what actions the state could take to prevent this. I must emphasize that the purpose of the hearing was not to formulate a plan but to gather information for possible legislative action next session. We talked quite a bit about what other states are doing and I know the committee will be looking at legislation passed by other states.
One point that I made very clear to the committee was that we have to frame our discussions of reform around the issue of illegal aliens and not immigration. Legal immigration has been and will continue to be the backbone of our nation. We are known as the melting pot of the world but where the problem arises is when people enter this country illegally – regardless of which border they cross or where they come from. All the committee members present agreed with this concept so I think we are all on the same page to begin a meaningful discussion of options.