O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) – A St. Louis-area town is taking a get-tough stance on immigration enforcement.
O’Fallon City Council members voted unanimously Thursday to adopt a resolution declaring the St. Charles County town a “Rule of Law” city. That means the city will strictly enforce existing state and federal immigration laws.
The resolution essentially puts O’Fallon in the opposite direction of more than 30 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, that
have declared themselves “sanctuary cities.” The sanctuary city declaration prohibits police and city employees from asking people about their immigration status, and denies city funds for use in enforcing federal immigration laws.
The O’Fallon resolution states the city will not hinder or restrict employee communications with federal officials related to the immigration status of individuals. It also directs police to cooperate with state and federal authorities regarding immigration enforcement.
The resolution also states the city will not provide public benefits to illegal immigrants. And it states that O’Fallon will
enroll in an electronic verification system to determine if laborers have legal authorization to work in the U.S. Any business with a city contract amounting to more than $5,000 will be required to use the system, and to sign an affidavit stating the business does not knowingly employ an “unauthorized alien.”
The sponsors of the measure, councilmen Jim Pepper and Bob Howell, are also sponsoring a bill that would impose fines and license suspensions on businesses caught hiring illegal immigrants.
That measure has not yet been introduced.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.