Springfield initiative targets illegal immigrants

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Springfield residents might be asked to vote on an initiative requiring businesses to use a federal program to check the legal status of workers.

A group called the Ozarks Minutemen filed an initiative petition Tuesday that would require businesses to use a computer program called E-Verify to avoid hiring illegal immigrants.

Jerry Wilson, a spokesman for the Ozarks Minutemen, says the group is frustrated that businesses aren’t using the program to find illegal immigrants.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that businesses suspected of employing illegal immigrants could face fines up to $499 and suspension of their city business licenses. But they would not be penalized if they could prove the worker’s status had been checked.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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