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Missouri AG Andrew Bailey puts KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas on notice after welcoming legal migrants

Lucas calls Bailey's letter 'a political campaign press release'
Mayor Lucas inauguration
Posted at 6:56 AM, Apr 19, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said he welcomes migrants with legal work permits to the city to fill workforce demands, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey put the mayor on notice.

Bailey sent a letter Thursday outlining that "it is a Class D felony to knowingly transport an illegal alien in the State of Missouri," per a statement from Bailey's office.

“There are a few very simple things that I think are a bit confused by folks: One, we already have a system where you have to be lawfully present to get a lawful work permit that is part of how you’re in Kansas City,” Lucas said. “Any time you mention migration or migrants, you see issues - and I’ve seen videos of people coming across the southern border - that is not what I’m talking about or what Kansas City is talking about.”

Despite clarification from Lucas, Bailey said the mayor's words ignore "the underlying issue."

"You are actively encouraging Missouri businesses to become entangled in a fundamentally unlawful program, and exposing them to legal liability in the process," Bailey said. "Make no mistake, my office will do everything in its power to take legal action against any person or entity found to be in violation of these statutes.”

On Friday afternoon, Lucas provided a statement to KSHB 41 news in response to Bailey's letter.

The State of Missouri controls policing in Kansas City. The only way Kansas City could ever become a so-called “sanctuary city” is if the Missouri legislature directs the police department to stop enforcing federal law, as the State tried and failed to do with the Second Amendment Preservation Act.  Beyond that, Andrew Bailey’s letter is a political campaign press release with no legal effect, because, as he knows, he has no ability to supersede federal law.  The mayor will continue to follow all state and federal laws while also building a Kansas City that welcomes all.