SB 590 targets foreigners

SB 590 targets foreigners

Walter Wang

Sen. Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) must be a magician. He plans to clear the streets and schools in Missouri of illegal immigrants by having mandatory immigration status checks, all without spending an extra cent.

SB 590 would make it a Class C felony to willingly fail to complete alien registration forms. In addition schools would have to identify the immigration statuses of all students, and police officers would need to do the same to all they stop lawfully. However, the bill will cause much more harm than good because of its negative consequences.
The wording found in SB 590 is similar to that of bills passed in Alabama and Arizona that also required law enforcement and schools to check immigration status. But these bills have had limited effectiveness and questionable constitutionality.
The federal justice department has halted the enforcement of these bills, stating that enforcement of immigration is a duty exclusive to the federal government. SB 590 clearly oversteps the bounds of state government.
In addition, SB 590 would place an inordinate strain on resources. It would require law enforcement officers to check the immigrant status of any they pull over if there is reasonable suspicion.
Schools would be required to check the immigration status of all of their students. Unfortunately, schools have ever-dwindling budgets. In this year alone, the Board of Education reduced the district’s operating budget by $1.8 million.
The financial situation makes it difficult for schools to check the status of all of their pupils, especially since SB 590 allocates no funds for the checking. The time required for background checks is also a problem.
At RBHS alone, there are 1,790 students. How long would it take to check every one of us?
Strict immigration laws could actually harm the economy. States received $11.2 billion in tax revenue from undocumented immigrants in 2010, according to the Center for American Progress. The Center also reported if these immigrants were legalized, the government would gain $4.5 to $5.4 billion. However, it would cost the government a hefty $285 million to deport all illegals in the United States. The pros obviously outweigh the cons here.
Students need to protest SB 590. An easy way is to go to the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates’ website, where there is a link to a petition form. Within minutes, students can add their voices to other protestors.
Students can also become involved by writing Kraus directly, or registering to vote on the issue.
By Walter Wang