June 20, 2013
Human Rights Article
Latest Report from MIRA (2012-04-17)
From our partners at MIRA (Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates):
We are headed into the homestretch of the legislative session, with 5 more weeks to go. The last day of the legislative session is May 18. This week, the House International Trade and Job Creation committee heard HB 1224, Rep. Brattin's bill that would require every business in the state of Missouri to participate in the federal E-Verify program. E-Verify is a federal database used for determining whether or not a job applicant is work-authorized, and using the system is currently voluntary for most employers. Under HB 1224, if an employer was found to have an unauthorized worker, they could face monetary fines, community service, or even jail time. Similar bills have been declared unconstitutional in other states. MIRA opposed the legislation on the grounds that similar laws in other jurisdictions have resulted in discrimination in hiring against immigrants and minorities. Additionally, it is up to the federal government to address immigration comprehensively, not states and municipalities to create a patchwork of unworkable local immigration policies. Also testifying against the bill were SEIU, ACLU, Associated Industries of Missouri, and the state Chamber of Commerce. We'll keep you posted on any updates with this and other bills.
In other news, don't forget to vote for MIRA's Welcoming Missouri Initiative in the Starbucks Vote.Give.Grow campaign! We are up for up to $35,000 in funding, but we need your votes! In order to cast your vote, you need a Starbucks Community Card, which you can pick up at any of their locations. Once you have it, you just need to go to votegivegrow.com to register your card. Search for "Welcoming Missouri" and vote for us! We're currently in 3rd place, but we know we can do better! You can vote once a week throughout April!
And finally, I am being honored at the Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast in St Louis on May the 5th. Please let me know if you are interested in joining us at the MIRA table.
As always, please feel free to get in touch with me if I can answer any questions.
Vanessa Crawford, Executive Director, Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates - 2725 Clifton Ave - St Louis, MO 63139 - (Please note my new phone number) 314.669.1288.