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Rep. Murphy questions: Is Missouri a sanctuary state?

GOP Rep. Jim Murphy has requested House Speaker Rob Vescovo form an interim committee on immigration reform, following months of frustration over what he said is the Labor Department’s inaction over reports of undocumented workers in Missouri. 

“Look, if we are going to talk about walls, and have our politicians go to the border and make Facebook videos — and even send down the National Guard — maybe we should actually try doing something about the problem that is very real here in Missouri. Or are we just a sanctuary state,” Murphy said. “It only makes sense that the state do a thorough review of its role in maintaining a good environment for workers and protect those that failed federal policies have thrust upon us.”

The issue was sparked by an article last year in The Missouri Times detailing contractors caught on tape offering cash to undocumented immigrants to build a multi-million dollar condo development in O’Fallon. The site is adjacent to Interstate 64 in St. Charles County. 

In the past, the Department of Labor stated it does not have any role in investigating undocumented immigrants working on Missouri job sites. 

However, a brochure provided to The Missouri Times explained how Missourians could call the department at 573-751-1099 to report this exact issue. 

Yesterday in Jefferson City, Murphy called the number, and a woman who answered said she had no idea what he was talking about. 

The unidentified woman said that she was not aware of the brochure or did not take any complaints. 

“It was what I figured, the situation is something the legislature needs to change, to give the department the statutory authority and the tools to do their job and keep Missorians protected from these out of state pariahs”, said Murphy.

Last year, The Missouri Times publisher Scott Faughn along with Murphy filed a complaint with the Department of Labor about the illegal activity at the St. Charles County development. The development has continued its work and is near complete with no visible disruption in the construction process. 

“President Trump, who was historically popular here in Missouri, made stopping illegal immigration one of his top priorities, and every Republican in the state, including me, supported him. However, it feels like those were just words,” Murphy said. “Frankly, if this case is the norm, then you’re a sucker and fool if you follow the rules in Missouri.”

There has been no follow-up on the complainants by the department, and after several months, nothing has been done about blatant documented violations. 

“On ‘This Week in Missouri Politics,’ I’ve asked the governor and the attorney general who Missourians should call if they see this type of blatant illegality, and both said the Department of Labor,” said Faughn. “Look, I don’t know if Director Hui just doesn’t care what the governor says, but to be fair, he was elected in a historic landslide, and his name is on their letterhead. I’m just a simple hillbilly, but I would think his words would carry significant weight with them, but clearly not. Bold move by the director.”