The Buzz

Missouri bills would eliminate funding for refugee resettlement and English lessons

Rep. Mike Moon
Rep. Mike Moon

When Gov. Jay Nixon last year refused to take steps to block Syrian refugees from being resettled in Missouri, Rep. Mike Moon called for a special legislative session “to tie the governor’s hands” and stop “the potential Islamization of Missouri.”

But his special session never came to fruition.

This past week the Ash Grove Republican took up the cause again, filing three bills that take aim at refugee resettlement in Missouri.

The first would eliminate funding for public school districts, community-based organizations and nonprofit agencies to teach English to immigrants and refugees.

The second would block any state or local funding from being used to help resettle refugees.

The third would make resettlement agencies that assist refugees in Missouri liable for any damages resulting from crimes committed by those refugees.

Attempts to block Syrian refugees by Congress were thwarted by Senate Democrats earlier this year when they blocked a vote on a bill that would have halted the admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the U.S. until they underwent a more strict screening process.

And on Monday a federal judge prevented Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana from prohibiting state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in the Hoosier State.

Moon’s three bills have not yet been assigned to a Missouri House committee.

Jason Hancock: 573-634-3565, @J_Hancock