The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 11, 2012

Judge blocks Mo. city’s new E-Verify law

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield city officials say they are relieved that a lawsuit has been filed against an ordinance that requires businesses to use the federal E-Verify system to check employees’ immigration status and fines any that employ illegal workers.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Positronics, Inc.; John Oke-Thomas + Associates, Stenger Management LLC and businessmen Joe Robles alleges that the E-Verify ordinance is unconstitutional and violates state and federal laws, The Springfield News-Leader reported.

In response to the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Richard Dorr issued a preliminary injunction Thursday prohibiting the city from enforcing the ordinance that voters approved in February.

Dorr said in his order that he issued the preliminary injunction because the plaintiff’s lawsuit “will probably succeed on the merits” based on a provision that requires the city finance department, rather than municipal courts, to enforce it.

City leaders have repeatedly described the ordinance as illegal and unenforceable, and urged Springfield voters to reject it.

After the ordinance passed, City Manager Greg Burris said he was “praying that we’ll be sued so there will be a stay on enforcement.”

Burris said Thursday it is too early to know how the city will defend the ordinance in court.

“From the start, we knew it would be the courts that would tell us what do,” he said.

Ozark Minutemen spokesman Jerry Wilson said Thursday that he was surprised that the lawsuit was filed by Springfield businesses rather than out-of-state advocacy groups.

While the group acknowledged that “eight or nine” parts of the ordinance were legally questionable, The Minutemen had urged City Council to approve and amend the ordinance before the election.

On Thursday, Wilson said the city should defend the voters’ will in court.

“This is not the city’s ordinance, this is the people’s ordinance.”

Mayor Bob Stephens, who took over the job on Tuesday, said the city will continue to uphold the laws of the city, state and nation but added he was “relieved” the lawsuit had been filed.

“We have always felt that the ordinance would engender some kind of legal action at some point,” he said.

“It was people from outside (Springfield) who created this problem but it’s Springfield businesses that have to deal with it.”


Text Only
Local News
  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin couple indicted in child porn case

    A federal grand jury indicted a Joplin couple Wednesday for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a preceding indictment of the husband for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: It’s not Mayberry, but Carthage is close

    When I was a kid, I wanted to live in Mayberry. In a way, I suppose I still want to live in Mayberry, the fictional town featured in the classic Andy Griffith show of the 1960s.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read


Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter