A lawsuit filed by Sam's Janitorial Services accuses Blunt of racial discrimination and abuse of power. Twenty-two suspected illegal immigrants were arrested, 11 were charged and seven were immediately reported. Blunt said four of the 22 are still being investigation.
Part of Blunt's immigration enforcement plan requires state contractors to remain, "illegal worker free."
Blunt's press release stated:
"It is ludicrous to believe that Missourians would want their taxpayer dollars paying to support illegal activity. I implemented a statewide ban on contractors who knowingly hire illegal workers and am confident our state is better served through this action.
"I am pleased to defend my executive order, which safeguards taxpayer dollars, with Sam's Janitorial Services in a courtroom or anywhere else. Missouri is benefiting from my directive which reflects my belief that it is inappropriate for Sam's Janitorial Services or any other state contractor to knowingly hire illegal workers."
The St. Louis Dispatch published a story about racial profiling as law enforcement officers check immigration status during traffic stops.
The state's crackdown on illegal immigrants has led to 52 arrests in the first six weeks, with most caught in routine traffic stops.
More than half of those detained were passengers. One had a flat tire. Others were pulled over for speeding or failure to use a turn signal properly.
While many have hailed Gov. Matt Blunt's get-tough policy, critics say the Missouri Highway Patrol's even more aggressive strategy of checking residency during traffic stops could result in racial profiling.
If you're being told from on high that we're going to stop illegal immigration, law enforcement is going to look twice at someone who looks Hispanic," said Jorge Riopedre, secretary of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis. "It's only human nature."more...