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Missouri Senate Passes New Penalty for Immigrant Criminals

Missouri Capitol
Ryan Famuliner
The Capitol building in Jefferson City. GOP legislators are opposing the appointment of a Columbia attorney to the UM System Board of Curators.

 The Missouri Senate has passed legislation to increase penalties for some immigrants who enter the country illegally and commit crimes.

Senators voted 26-6 Thursday to send the bill to the House.

The measure would apply to immigrants who have previously been deported for a violent or dangerous crime and later commit another crime in Missouri or elsewhere.

Those immigrants could be punished for "illegal re-entry" to Missouri under the legislation.

The legislation comes as Mexican national Pablo Serrano-Vitorino is awaiting a preliminary hearing. He's accused of killing a man in Missouri and four others in Kansas.

Republican Sen. Bob Dixon says he doesn't believe creating a new crime is necessary.

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