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Blunt pushes more immigration legislation

(UPI photo, Bill Greenblatt)

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis – Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has announced a series of legislative proposals designed to crack down on illegal immigrants.

If passed, the new laws would prohibit "sanctuary cities," change hiring procedures for public employees and further penalize state contractors who employ illegal workers.

Blunt says he's not sure how many illegal immigrants reside in Missouri, but he says they need to leave.

"Since they're illegal immigrants, it's very hard to come up with an enumeration,' Blunt said. "Of course, you've seen national estimates that there are 20 million illegal immigrants in the United States. One would assume that thousands of those at least would be in the state of Missouri.

Several months ago, Blunt directed law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of everyone they arrest.

The state highway patrol says this has resulted in the deportation of 126 people since August.

Meanwhile a developer of luxury condominiums at the Lake of the Ozarks was sentenced to probation Monday for not paying taxes for his construction workers, including some who were illegal immigrants.

Attorney General Jay Nixon announced the sentencing not long after Blunt's news conference.

Nixon is a Democrat who's challenging Blunt in next year's gubernatorial election.

Under a plea deal, developer Michael Schlup avoided prison by agreeing to pay nearly a million dollars in back taxes, fines and court costs.

Nixon says Schlup used as many as 30 undocumented workers for a condo project on the Lake of the Ozarks.