This Article focuses on the legal impacts of immigration at the state level. The pros and cons are primarily considered and debated at the federal level, however, because immigration has been mainly a prerogative of the federal government. States have not had much of an impact on immigration policy. Nevertheless, the repercussions of inconsistent choices have fallen on the states. Missouri and many other states are now home to Latinos and other immigrants because they have found in the Midwest their version on the American dream: a job, upward mobility, and security. Many are providing essential labor to key industries, like agriculture, meatpacking, and construction. Immigrant newcomers are resettling areas that might otherwise be in decay. Yugoslavian and Vietnamese refugees have played a major role in revitalizing the City of St. Louis, and Latinos have made it possible for Kansas City’s inner city to grow rather than decline over the last decade. That is the good news. The bad new is that there is likely a significant proportion with problematic immigration status. The numbers fall into a wide array; however, most estimates hover at eight million nationally. While undocumented immigrants account for less than four percent of the total U.S. labor force, there are concentrated in a few industries, including construction, hospitality, textiles, meatpacking, and agriculture.
Sylvia R. Lazos Vargas,
Missouri, the War on Terrorism, and Immigrants: Legal Challenges Post 9/11,
67 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol67/iss4/2