Missouri State Immigration Laws
Welcome to FindLaw's coverage of existing Missouri legislation and rules related to individuals' immigration status. However, it is important to be aware of the relationship and tension between state and federal law when it comes to subjects involving immigration. Below you will find information on what, if any, rules Missouri has regarding immigration checks by law enforcement, educational institutions, and employers, as well as the existence of E-Verify requirements, restrictions on public benefits based on an individual's immigration status, and more.
Law Enforcement and Immigration in Missouri
Although immigration and enforcement are typically matters dealt with by federal immigration authorities, an increasing number of local and county law enforcement officials are starting to assist with, investigate, or pursue suspected immigration-related offenses. Also, under a federal program known as "Secure Communities", all individuals arrested are fingerprinted and run through a database which checks their immigration status. However, some states are considering and sometimes passing legislation permitting local governments to "opt out" of such programs.
Under federal law, employers should refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules, as well as the requirements for Form I-9.
Missouri E-Verify Requirements
Missouri law requires that all public (government) employers use E-Verify to confirm that new hires are authorized to work. The law does not require that private employers use E-Verify for new hires, but does provide incentives to do so, as well as penalties for hiring unauthorized workers without using the system.
Driver's License/ID Requirements
All applicants for new driver's licenses in Missouri are require to provide documents establishing their identity, date of birth, place of birth, Social Security Number, and Missouri residential address. A complete list of acceptable documents is found at the Missouri DOR site.
Public Benefits Restrictions
Under federal law, illegal immigrants are prohibited from receiving public benefits, although they are allowed to receive emergency services, health care, and other programs that have been identified as "necessary to protect life and safety." Missouri law also restricts a variety of benefits to illegal immigrants.
Missouri does not permit in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants, nor associated financial aid benefits.
Voter ID Rules
Missouri requires voters to present identification prior to voting, although it also permits the use of non-photo ID's such as utility bills, paychecks, bank statements, and more.
If the voter doesn't have an acceptable form of ID, they can still cast a ballot but only if two supervising election judges, one from each major political party, attest knowing the voter.
Housing Ordinances and Immigration
Missouri has seen a number of local efforts to establish rent-related ordinances targeting illegal immigrants. However, these typically face immediate challenges in court and the legality of such measures is up in the air.