JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Attorney General Jay Nixon wants to penalize businesses that hire illegal immigrants.
Nixon is backing legislation that would suspend business licenses of companies caught using undocumented workers, and permanently revoke licenses of second-time offenders.
He says the proposal is modeled after an Arizona law set to take effect January 1. That law is being challenged in court by business groups.
Nixon, a Democrat, is challenging Republican Governor Matt Blunt in next year's elections.
Blunt has outlined a series of proposals targeting illegal immigrants.
Earlier this week, he proposed to increase penalties on state contractors who employ illegal immigrants and to require public employers to verify the immigration status of new workers through a federal database.