|Mark Parkinson: "95 percent of my constituents wanted me to get tough on illegal immigration"|
The sponsor of the bill is Rep. Mark Parkinson, a Republican from St. Charles. In an interview last Friday, Parkinson said that he has a drafted a substitute for the bill that is "identical" to the controversial law enacted recently in Arizona. We also discussed the potential ramifications of a such a law in Missouri and why he thinks it's necessary.
Why did you introduce this legislation?
It's just some more stiffer penalties for being here in the state of Missouri if you're an illegal. To me it's an economic issue. If you're here illegally you're taking a job. That's the main magnet if you're coming to Missouri. if we can eliminate as many of those magnets as possible we'll have fewer illegals. The vast majority are taking jobs at substandard wages. With the economy struggling to come back and unemployment at about ten percent, I want to make sure the people who are employed in Missouri are first and foremost citizens. If we have a surplus of jobs they can go through federal programs to come here and work.
What about the argument that most of the jobs undocumented immigrants are working are low-paying ones that the average unemployed American doesn't want?