Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City) recently sponsored legislation designed to ease some of Missouri’s harsher anti-immigrant provisions. Chappelle-Nadal believes that due to some of the 2008 state immigration legislation, undocumented immigrants have been denied basic necessities, as well as some legal rights. Some of the points raised by Chappelle-Nadal have been made repeatedly by pro-immigration advocates since 2008.
Specifically, the proposed amendments to current law would eliminate the requirement that all commercial drivers’ licenses be administered in English only, as well as the rule preventing undocumented immigrants from accessing public benefits, such as medical treatment at hospitals.
Senate Bill No. 203 probably does not have much of a chance to make it out of committee, much less be enacted by the conservative Missouri legislature. Tinkering with the law at this juncture – while Congress debates an entire overhaul of the immigration program – might ultimately be a waste of time. But any measures taken by Missouri officials to ease the harsh anti-immigrant sentiment which has eminated from Jefferson City for the past decade and a half would be well-received.