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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Open Letter to Rep. Ortiz

By A. M. Johnson


March 08, 2017
Wednesday PM

Representative Ortiz is asking citizens to contact him with concerns so I will submit this post to his attention. Perhaps noting the potential and maybe current cost of dealing with educational cost of mult-national illegal students on a district, and the various medical potential cost to the state Medicaid program plus other's departments dealing with illegal issues now in existence or potentially to come, Ortiz will be proactive and submit legislation similar to the Missouri statutes. Again, while it may not be a huge issue, every dollar that can be addressed in savings or reduction in services to others than those who are citizens should be considered.

Summary of eRumor:

A viral email alleges that Missouri doesn’t have problems with illegal immigration because state lawmakers have passed a number of bills aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants. People are asking if Missouri is the smartest state in the nation.

The Truth:

This eRumor is true and was taken from an editorial written by Republican State Rep. Nita Jane Ayres. It was published by the Ozarks Sentinel on May 13, 2009. The allegation that this state has no undocumented immigrants is fiction.

The Missouri General Assembly placed a constitutional referendum on the ballot in 2007 that designated English as the state’s primary language. The state legislature also got a measure signed into law in 2008 that required Missouri Highway State Patrol officers to check the immigration status of people who were pulled over.

It’s also true that lawmakers in Missouri have made illegal immigrants ineligible for state-sponsored health care and food stamp programs, according to Legal Services of Missouri. Illegal immigrants are also ineligible for financial aid in Missouri.

The eRumor’s claim that there are no illegal immigrants in Missouri is false, but the state does have one of the lowest populations of illegal immigrants in the country. According to 2010 U.S. Census data, there were about 55,000 illegal immigrants in Missouri, which was less than 1 percent of the state’s population.

Ketchikan, Alaska

Received March 04, 2017 - Published March 08, 2017


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