FIRST REGULAR SESSION

House Concurrent Resolution No. 22

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES FALLERT (Sponsor), BLACK, MEADOWS AND ATKINS (Co-sponsors).

1108L.01I

 

            WHEREAS, effective worksite enforcement plays an important role in the fight against illegal immigration and in protecting our homeland, especially the serious threats posed by unauthorized workers employed at sensitive and critical infrastructure facilities such as airports, seaports, nuclear plants, chemical plants, and defense facilities; and

 

            WHEREAS, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is responsible for enforcing federal immigration laws as part of its homeland security mission, including entering into partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies to train officers to assist in identifying those individuals who are in the country illegally; and

 

            WHEREAS, under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a person commits a federal felony when such person:

            (1) Assists an alien whom he or she should reasonably know is illegally in the United States or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment;

            (2) Encourages the alien to remain in the United States, by referring him or her to an employer, by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way; or

            (3) Knowingly assisting illegal aliens due to personal convictions; and

 

            WHEREAS, penalties upon conviction of this federal felony include criminal fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles and real property used to commit the crime. Any person employing or contracting with an illegal alien without verifying his or her work authorization status is guilty of a misdemeanor. Aliens and employers violating immigration laws are subject to arrest, detention, and seizure of their vehicles or property; and

 

            WHEREAS, it is unlawful to hire an alien, to recruit an alien, or to refer an alien for a fee, knowing the alien is unauthorized for work in the United States. It is equally unlawful to continue to employ an alien knowing that the alien is unauthorized to work; and

 

            WHEREAS, it is unlawful to hire any individual for employment in the United States without complying with employment eligibility verification requirements, including examination of identity documents and completion of Form I-9 for every employee hired; and

 

            WHEREAS, it is illegal for nonprofit or religious organizations to knowingly assist an employer to violate employment sanctions, regardless of claims that their convictions require them to assist illegal aliens. Harboring or aiding illegal aliens is not protected by the First Amendment; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 added Section 287(g) to the Immigration and Nationality Act which authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies for enforcement of immigration laws, provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of ICE officers; and

 

            WHEREAS, the 1996 immigration control legislation passed by Congress was intended to encourage states and local agencies to participate in the process of enforcing federal immigration laws, including allowing law enforcement officers to detain an individual for a brief warrantless interrogation where circumstances create a reasonable suspicion the individual is illegally present in the United States; and

 

            WHEREAS, the State of Missouri entered into a 287(g) agreement with the ICE on June 25, 2008, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol designated as Missouri's immigration enforcement law enforcement agency under the agreement; and

 

            WHEREAS, in addition, the Secure Communities program created in 2008 seeks to identify criminal aliens through the use of biometric fingerprint matching, prioritizes detention and deportation through a series of risk factors, and facilitates interoperability between on-the-ground state and local law enforcement and the federal ICE; and

 

            WHEREAS, however, there are problems with the federal enforcement of immigration as well. The Obama Administration announced in 2009 its intention to abandon Social Security No-Match, which would have enabled the Social Security Administration to take action against employers who submitted 10 or more W-2s that could not be matched to SSA records or who have no matches for more than one-half percent of their workforces. This program would give the Department of Homeland Security the resources and authority to target large-scale employers in the sectors of the economy with large numbers of undocumented workers; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Secure Communities program needs to be expanded and continued, the 287(g) program should be strengthened by reinstating the memorandum of understanding that would allow local law enforcement to check immigration status regardless of whether the offense is considered "serious", and Congress should enact legislation giving permission for the Social Security No-Match program; and

 

            WHEREAS, the right kind of immigration enforcement policies will be ones that maintain national security and public safety, respect the rule of law and the right of state and local law enforcement to stop illegal immigration in their communities, and make tangible impact on the illegal immigration problem:

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly, First Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby strongly urge the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Congress to take the necessary steps to increase the level of enforcement of illegal immigration, especially the enforcement of penalties on employers who hire unauthorized workers; and

 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.