Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is calling on Congress to balance “law and order with compassion” as it acts to replace the executive order known as DACA, the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals.
“We need to make sure we’re making a distinction between violent felons who are in this county illegally and children who were brought here through no fault of their own who have grown up in America,” Greitens said Wednesday in Kansas City.
The governor, a Republican, said one group deserves special treatment under American immigration law: non-citizens who serve in the U.S. military.
“One thing I’ve advocated for for a long time is: Anyone who is willing to take a bullet for this country, anyone who’s willing to serve in uniform, should at the end of their military service have an opportunity to become an American citizen.” Greitens said. “I think it’s really important we get that done."
"I think it’s really important for Congress to act, and I think as they act, we need to make sure that we’re balancing our insistence on law and order with compassion," Greitens said.
Greitens was in Kansas City to announce the creation of hundreds of new jobs at two local businesses, where he spoke with employees and took questions from local media.
At Rosnet, a Parkville company that designs restaurant management software, company leaders announced 50 new jobs. And at Spring Venture Group in midtown Kansas City, the company will create 681 new jobs over a five-year span, according to Greitens’ office.
Speaking to a group of Spring Venture employees, Greitens touted his administration’s pro-business policy agenda and boasted that the state’s economy has improved during his first eight months in office.
“I’m really pleased by the fact that the economy is moving. I’m pleased by the fact that since we came into office, we’ve been outpacing the nation in job growth. I’m pleased by the fact that we’ve moved up nine places in the rankings of the best states to do business.”
On Tuesday, Missouri’s Office of Administration announced that general revenue collections in August were up $50 million — seven percent — over the same month last year. Still, Greitens said it would be premature to start easing tight spending restrictions his office implemented earlier this year. Those withholdings include substantial reductions in higher education, school busing and social services.
“When it comes to the budget, we’re going to look at every single expenditure and we’re going to analyze whether we’re getting results,” Greitens said. “We need to make sure that there’s accountability for every tax dollar and that’s what we’ll continue to do when we look at the revenue picture moving forward.”
Greitens also said he has no concrete plans for restoring funding for nursing and in-home care. Some 8,000 seniors and disabled persons in Missouri lost state support for those services last week. In July, the governor vetoed a bipartisan compromise bill that would have swept unspent state funds in other areas to provide the needed $35 million.
Some lawmakers are mounting an effort to override the governor’s veto when the General Assembly convenes next week. Greitens says he would entertain alternative ways to fund the care, but that he hasn’t received any proposals.
“I’m happy to sit down with Senate, House leaders and others who might have proposals on these to figure out ways we can spend money wisely and protect people in the state of Missouri,” Greitens said.
Greitens' tour promoting job growth also included a stop in St. Louis Wednesday afternoon at Seyer Industries, a small aerospace manufacturing firm.