Missouri’s Catholic bishops urge lawmakers to help immigrants

Monday, January 28, 2008 | 6:39 p.m. CST; updated 2:35 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — The state’s Roman Catholic bishops are telling lawmakers and statewide elected officials to stop trying to “vie to see who can be tougher on illegal immigrants.”

Those comments came in a letter signed by bishops in St. Louis, Jefferson City, Springfield and Kansas City.

The letter also calls for more money to teach English, allowing the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition and giving humanitarian aid regardless of immigration status. The bishops also want a federal overhaul of the immigration system.

Lawmakers have filed bills that would bar illegal immigrants from enrolling in public colleges and levy tens of thousands of dollars in fines on employers who know or “should have known” that they are employing an illegal immigrant.

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