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. Forms of ID include: non-expired state driver’s licenses, non-expired and expired state non-driver’s licenses, documents by the federal or state government containing the name and photo of the individual, and any non-expired armed services identification containing a photograph. People without ID may vote if they present a school identification, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or other government document, permit their picture be taken, and sign a statement.
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.
Speak to an Attorney About Your Missouri Immigration Law Issues
Missouri and other states do not have jurisdiction over matters of immigration law -- that is up to the federal government -- but states often pass laws that have an impact on immigrants. Understanding your rights, as well as the intersection of state and federal law, is the best way to protect your interests. Get help with your immigration matter from an experienced attorney today.
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you get the best results possible.