Missouri House forms special committee to investigate illegal immigrant crimes

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In response to rising concerns about illegal immigrant crime in Missouri, the Missouri House of Representatives is announcing the formation of the Special Interim Committee on Illegal Immigrant Crimes.

The committee will collaborate closely with law enforcement agencies to assess criminal activities involving illegal immigrants in the state and devise effective solutions to address them. Working in partnership with local, state, and federal law enforcement, the committee will use data to develop evidence-based policies aimed at reducing illegal immigrant crime. By addressing this issue head-on, the Missouri House seeks to enhance the safety and well-being of all its residents.

According to statistics from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the number of arrests of criminal noncitizens between 2020 and 2023 has been on the rise. The trend begins with a notable decline during the COVID-19 pandemic to 103,603 arrests in 2020 and further to 74,082 in 2021. However, there was a significant uptick in 2022 with 142,750 arrests, followed by a substantial increase to 170,590 arrests in 2023.


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In that same amount of time, the number of homicide-related offenses has remained high with an average of more than 1,600 per year from 2020 to 2023, and convictions for domestic violence, battery, and assault have increased during this period. A 2023 report from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement also found that nearly half of all illegal immigrants arrested here in the U.S. have multiple prior criminal charges and convictions.

The formation of this committee follows a series of high-profile cases committed by individuals who were in the U.S. illegally in Missouri, including the following:

  1. June 18, 2024: Mexican nationals Arturo Eustaquio, Noe Guzman Hernandez, and Daniel Ruiz Lopez, along with Hondurans Carlos Funez and Marlon Aguilar, were arrested for kidnapping a 14-year-old girl in Indiana. They were found with the girl unharmed in their vehicle in Missouri. They are held without bail on kidnapping charges.
  2. March 19, 2024: Jose Barrera, an illegal immigrant, stabbed two people at a laundromat in O’Fallon following a verbal exchange. Both victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
  3. March 12, 2024: Endrina Bracho, an illegal migrant, faces charges including first-degree involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault after a car crash in Hazelwood resulting in the death of a 12-year-old boy and serious injuries to her own children.
  4. January 31, 2020: Luis Perez, a Mexican citizen illegally in the U.S., was charged with the shooting deaths of three people in Missouri in November 2018. His case gained national attention due to criticisms of sanctuary policies and failure to honor ICE detainer requests.
  5. April 30, 2016: Pablo Serrano-Vitorino, a Mexican citizen illegally in the U.S. for the second time, committed a shooting rampage across Kansas and Missouri, resulting in five deaths. He faces multiple counts of first-degree murder.

These cases highlight serious crimes, raising significant legal and policy debates surrounding immigration enforcement and underscoring the urgent need for a dedicated body to investigate and address this issue. To that end, the Special Interim Committee on Illegal Immigrant Crimes has been formed and will be composed of the following members:

  • Rep. Lane Roberts, Chair
  • Rep. Aaron McMullen, Vice-Chair
  • Rep. Bill Allen
  • Rep. Ashley Aune
  • Rep. Ben Baker
  • Rep. Hardy Billington
  • Rep. Cyndi Buchheit-Courtway
  • Rep. Jamie Burger
  • Rep. Tricia Byrnes
  • Rep. David Casteel
  • Rep. Chris Dinkins
  • Rep. Anthony Ealy
    Rep. Mike Henderson
  • Rep. Barry Hovis
  • Rep. Michael Johnson
  • Rep. Jim Murphy
  • Rep. Bill Owen
  • Rep. Mark Sharp
  • Rep. Justin Sparks
  • Rep. Kemp Strickler
  • Rep. Del Taylor
  • Rep. Lisa Thomas
  • Rep. Emily Weber

Chairman Lane Roberts, R-Joplin, expressed his commitment to addressing this pressing issue: “The safety and security of Missouri’s residents is our top priority. This committee will take a thorough and objective look at the data to understand the full scope of the problem and work towards practical solutions that protect our communities.”

Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, added, “It is imperative that we address the concerns of our constituents regarding illegal immigrant crime. This year, we passed legislation to help secure our southern border, to stop the invasion from happening, and to prevent the flow of deadly fentanyl into our state. With this committee, we will work with our law enforcement to develop strategies that effectively address and crack down on criminal activities associated with illegal immigration. By forming this committee, we are taking a proactive step to ensure that our state remains a safe place for all its citizens.”

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