February 23, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. - Based on requests to investigate allegations of 14 undocumented workers on a Farmington, Missouri, hotel construction site by Senate Majority Leader Kevin Engler and Representative Linda Fischer, Attorney General Chris Koster said today his office will launch an investigation.
Koster said his office will investigate whether undocumented workers were working on the construction site at any time. Missouri law prohibits an employer from knowingly employing an unauthorized alien to perform work within the state of Missouri.
"Senator Engler and Representative Fischer have given important voice to the concerns of thousands of citizens in this state regarding the frequency of undocumented workers participating in construction in this region," Koster said. "The Attorney General's office looks forward to investigating this situation and reporting back to the members of the General Assembly and the state at large."
"It is unfortunate that immigration officials forced the St. Francois County sheriff's department to release these illegal aliens, and frustrating that there is little we can do to make the federal government do its job," said Sen. Engler. "However, we do have the ability to hold the employers liable for hiring these illegal immigrants. Filing this complaint begins that process."
"Based on input from my constituents, I felt it necessary to take action at the state level in order to ensure that jobs in St. Francois County remain local and revenue from construction projects remains in the State of Missouri," said Rep. Fischer.
Attorney General Koster indicated that investigators from his office intend to make contact with corporate representatives involved with the construction as early as this week.