JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators have given initial approval to a bill that would crack down on some immigrants living in the country illegally.
Senators voted 26-3 Tuesday in favor of the bill. It needs another vote of approval to move to the House.
If it passes the Legislature and becomes law, deported immigrants who come back and commit assaults and dangerous felony offenses would face three to 10 years in prison.
Republican Sen. Mike Cunningham says his goal is to crack down on criminals. He says workers who overstay and people who come to visit family are not the intended targets.
Democratic Sen. Jill Schupp raised concerns that what she described as “anti-immigrant” policies could spur fear and deter immigrants from coming to Missouri and contributing to the economy.