Missouri's Hispanics
From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

Missouri's Hispanics

Date: May 2, 2007
By: Fernando Velasco
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: While public attention has focused on illegal immigrants, Missouri is home to thousands of legal hispanic immigrants. Father Fernando Velasco has more from the State Capitol.

The recent apprehension of illegal immigrants cleaning state government offices has highlighted a growing debate in Missouri about illegals and legislative efforts to toughen penalties for hiring illegal workers.

Yet, lost in the immigrant debate has been the state's approximately 149,000 legal population.

According to U.S. Census figures, Missouri's Hispanic population has nearly doubled between 1990 and 2000. 

The Kansas City area is one of the larger areas of Hispanic population in Missouri. Republican Tim Flook, who represents parts of Kansas City, has parents who immigrated from Mexico. Flook argues about the importance of immigrants to Missouri's economy: 

 
Actuality:  FJ1A.WAV
Run Time: 00:30

Description: 

 
Flook adds that the supply of immigrant labor helps to sustain state agriculture, factories and general business industries:
 
Actuality:  FVECO.WAV
Run Time: 00:22
Description: 
 
The differences between a legal immigrant and an illegal are the benefits and rights, which can be deprived. Pedro Almasan, a legal worker in a manufacturing plant in Marshall, has a temporary permit and therefore has Social Security Benefits. However, some of his co-workers are illegal and do not have these benefits.
 
Actuality:  FVINS2.WAV
Run Time: 00:06
Description: 

Almasan says that many legal workers feel despised by the way they have been treated. They complain of being treated as criminals. When they apply for a job, Almassan says, they are often mistreated, especially if they are not proficient in English.
 
Actuality:  FVDISC2.WAV
Run Time: 00:31
Description: 

One proposal, co-sponsored by St. Louis County Democratic Senator Tim Green would toughen the penalties against those who hire illegal workers. The proposal would also bar illegal immigrants from admission to public universities and give police more powers to investigate illegal immigration.
Actuality:  FVTG.WAV
Run Time: 00:24
Description: 
 
According to Representative Tim Flook the vote of Missouri's legal immigrants is growing. Four percent of the state voters are Hispanic.
 
Actuality:  FVVOT.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: 

A large percentage of immigrants legal and illegal come from around the world. They are arriving in Missouri for the particularly low cost of living. Missouri is a state of various cultures. Just as during the conquest's time, people come in search of a better future.