Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

December 18, 2006

House Special Committee on Immigration Reform releases final report

The House Special Committee on Immigration Reform, which conducted a series of hearings across the state over the summer, submitted to Speaker of the House Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill) the final report of its findings on Thursday, Nov. 9. The report outlines many issues that the committee recommends be addressed during the upcoming legislative session, including one recommendation for higher education. It also states that the General Assembly pursue “clarification of Missouri policy and standards against access to publicly funded higher education institutions by those without lawful presence.”

The Special Committee was established by Jetton to review various proposals that surfaced during the 2006 legislative session. Two bills introduced last session, HB1864 and SB1250, included language that would require registrars at public institutions to certify to the General Assembly that they did not knowingly admit illegal aliens before the state appropriation for the institution is released. The bills also included a number of other provisions not related to higher education. Rep. Jerry Nolte (R-Gladstone), the committee’s vice chair, has invited the University of Missouri to review the previous proposals and make recommendations for improving the legislation.

The University has admissions procedures in place that ensure the institution does not knowingly admit illegal aliens. Currently all students applying for admission who are not U.S. citizens are required to present the appropriate documentation before they can be considered for enrollment. The University directs students who do not have proper documentation to an agency that is able to help them get the appropriate paperwork in order. The University admits many students who are legal aliens and many international students who have proper documentation. These students make up an important part of the fabric of the institution and contribute to the diversity that the institution values.