It is apparent that illegal immigration is the topic du jour during this session of the Missouri House of Representatives, as most of the members battle for re-election. The subject is again addressed by Speaker of the House Rod Jetton in his latest Capitol Report:
Like I mentioned last week stopping illegal immigration has to start at the border and that is a job for the Federal Government. It is not a job for the states to secure and protect the border of the nation. However the states can change their laws to remove the incentive illegal immigrants have to coming to our nation.
I believe we can concentrate our effort in a few main areas to help end the tide of illegal immigration that is affecting Missouri. These areas include higher education, state aid programs, cracking down on businesses that knowingly employ illegal immigrants, ending so called "sanctuary cities", and finally making sure our law enforcement personal have the tools and training they need to confront the problem.
This week I would like to talk to you about HB 1626 sponsored by Representative Ed Emery. This piece of legislation will prohibit illegal aliens from receiving public assistance. Currently many illegal immigrants are coming to our state to use some of the public assistance programs we have in place to help Missouri's most vulnerable citizens. These programs include MO Healthnet, Utilicare, Worker's Comp, or Welfare.
These programs have been put in place to provide a helping hand to those who cannot help themselves. Unfortunately many illegal immigrants are coming to Missouri and are abusing these programs for their own benefit. It is important to remember that these programs are targeted at specific groups of people and their purpose is to give maximum aid to those who truly need it. They were never designed to be used by people who have illegally come to our nation and are breaking our laws.
I really want to make that point clear; we are a nation of rules and laws. Our society and economy are founded on that one point. To succeed in our nation you must obey the rules. When illegal immigrants choose to jump ahead in line of millions of other people who in some cases have been waiting for years to become US citizens they are fundamentally breaking the law.
Because these people are breaking the law I do not believe they should be able to collect public aid and benefits. These are for Missourians who are in need. I commend Representative Emery for filing this important piece of legislation and taking a stand in an area where the Federal Government has unfortunately not tackled.
It is important for all Missourians to recognize the simple fact that when you break the rules there are consequences. One of those consequences is if you are an illegal immigrant you will not be receiving state aid in Missouri.
Illegal immigration is a major problem confronting not just our state but also our nation. We cannot sit around waiting for Washington to take action. I firmly believe it is time for the General Assembly to act and improve protect Missouri from the negative effects of illegal immigration.