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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Debate starts in Kansas Legislature on illegal immigration

    By Scott Rothschild

    February 13, 2012

    Topeka — State legislators on Monday started a week-long debate on immigration policy ranging from allowing undocumented workers to stay in Kansas to measures aimed at chasing them away.

    First up was a bill endorsed by business and religious groups that would allow undocumented workers who had no criminal record and who had been working in Kansas at least five years to apply for a legal status that would allow them to work in Kansas industries facing labor shortages.

    Rep. Reynaldo Mesa, R-Garden City, told the House Federal and State Affairs Committee that House Bill 2712 would help the agricultural economy in southwest Kansas and keep workers’ families together.

    “I challenge my colleagues to put the politics of this issue aside, and truly analyze this bill on its merits,” Mesa said.

    But several committee members questioned whether businesses that hired workers under the proposed program could face penalties from the federal government.

    Chairman Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, asked why would workers “self-identify” to seek legal status if the federal policy could change and place them in jeopardy of deportation.

    Testimony also spilled into bills that will be heard later this week that seek to crack down on illegal immigration.

    House Bill 2578 is similar to laws approved in Arizona and Alabama that would require law enforcement to check citizenship status of people who are detained and a “reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien.”

    House Bill 2576 would establish criminal penalties for harboring illegal immigrants. Bishop Scott Jones of the United Methodist Church said the proposal could turn him into a criminal for preaching to people who may be undocumented.

    “Please don’t send me or my preachers to jail for our obedience to Christ,” he said.

    Debate starts in Kansas Legislature on illegal immigration /
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  2. #2
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Feb 2005

    Kansas Seeks Waiver for Undocumented Workers to Solve Farm Crisis - AMNESTY

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  3. #3
    Senior Member stevetheroofer's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    somewhere near Mexico I reckon!
    Believe it or not your calls will make a difference how this is all played out!

    Kansas State Senators and House Reps. contact info.


    STATE HOUSE: House | Kansas State Legislature

    STATE SENATE: Senate | Kansas State Legislature

    US House of Representatives

    Huelskamp, Tim 202-225-2715
    119 W IRON AVE
    SALINA KS 67401-2600
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    Jenkins, Lynn 202-225-6601
    1001 N BROADWAY ST
    PITTSBURG KS 66762-3956
    Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins : Contact Me
    Lynn Jenkins - Wall | Facebook

    Yoder, Kevin 202-225-2865
    7325 W 79TH ST
    OVERLAND PARK KS 66204-2908
    Congressman Kevin Yoder | Facebook

    Pompeo, Mike 202-225-6216
    7701 E KELLOGG DR
    WICHITA KS 67207-1706
    Congressman Mike Pompeo | Facebook

    Huelskamp, Tim R 202-225-2715 67501
    Jenkins, Lynn R 202-225-6601 66762
    Yoder, Kevin R 202-225-2865 66204
    Pompeo, Mike R 202-225-6216 67207

    United States Senate for Kansas:

    Moran, Jerry - (R - KS)
    (202) 224-6521
    Moran, Jerry (202) 224-6521 Wichita, KS 67226
    E-mail Jerry - United States Senator Jerry Moran!/jerrymoran
    Jerry Moran - Government Official - Washington, DC | Facebook

    Roberts, Pat - (R - KS)
    (202) 224-4774
    Roberts, Pat (202) 224-4774 Overland Park, KS 66210
    E-mail Pat - Contact - U.S. Senator Pat Roberts!/senpatroberts
    Pat Roberts - Wall | Facebook

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  4. #4
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    Gheen, Minnesota, United States
    added to the homepage and adding to today's email alert to deploy our activists against this amnesty attempt.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    Jun 2008

  6. #6
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    Kan. House panel opens hearings on immigration

    Topeka, Kan. —

    The business coalition's proposal is HB 2712. The measures backed by Kobach and his allies are HBs 2492, 2576, 2577 and 2578.

    Kansas business groups asked legislators Monday to set up a program for placing illegal immigrants in hard-to-fill jobs in agriculture and other industries as a House committee kicked off a week of hearings that are likely to highlight divisions among majority Republicans.

    The Federal and State Affairs Committee scheduled two days of testimony on a bill drafted by a coalition that includes agriculture groups and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, and their measure also drew support from immigrant rights advocates. They said the proposal represents a realistic approach to dealing with an estimated 45,000 illegal immigrant workers in Kansas.

    But the committee also planned to begin hearings Wednesday on four bills backed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach and his allies, designed to discourage illegal immigrants from staying in Kansas. Kobach, a Republican, is a former law professor who helped draft tough laws in Alabama and Arizona.

    Kobach criticized the bill backed by the business coalition as an amnesty measure for illegal immigrants and predicted it can't pass the House, where his fellow GOP conservatives are in the majority. But the state chamber is a major player in Republican politics, and the agriculture groups joining it not only lean toward the GOP but have strong influence among rural lawmakers.

    Chairman Steve Brunk, a Bel Aire Republican, said he's not yet sure which approach the committee will embrace. Republicans could become so split that none of the immigration bills ultimately will pass — a dynamic that's already prevented Kobach from seeing legislative successes in his home state even as he helps lawmakers in others.

    "It's an issue that kind of crosses unusual political lines," Brunk said.

    The new program proposed by the business groups would create a pool of immigrant workers that businesses could tap after the state certifies a labor shortage in their industries. The state would support individual workers' requests from the federal government for authorization to continue working in the U.S., despite not being able to document that they are in the country legally.

    The measure is designed to help commercial dairies and feedlots in western Kansas, as well as landscaping, roofing and some construction businesses.

    Eric Stafford, a state chamber lobbyist, described the proposal as an alternative to "harmful" legislation that would hurt the economy — a reference to the laws in Alabama and Arizona. Religious leaders called the business coalition's bill compassionate.

    "This could be a model bill for other states to follow," Rep. Reynaldo Mesa, a Garden City Republican, said as he testified in favor of the measure. "This is not about amnesty. This is not about citizenship. This is about dealing with reality."

    But Kobach said during an interview that the bill is an amnesty proposal because it would allow illegal immigrants to stay in Kansas. He said it makes little sense to direct them into hard-to-fill jobs when U.S. citizens who are out of work collect unemployment and benefits from the state.

    "It seems to me we'd all be better off if these jobs went to U.S. citizens," Kobach said.

    And some legislators want to pursue Alabama- or Arizona-style measures, arguing that their constituents are frustrated with the federal government's failure to check illegal immigration.

    Starting Wednesday, the committee will consider two bills that would require state and local government agencies and government contractors to use the federal e-Verify program to check the status of new workers.

    A third measure would make it a crime to knowingly harbor an illegal immigrant and require applicants for government assistance to provide proof that they're in the U.S. legally. A fourth bill would direct law enforcement officers to check the status of people they stop for other reasons if there is a "reasonable suspicion" that the people stopped may be in the U.S. illegally.

    Kobach said such measures represent attempts by the state to ensure that existing laws on immigration are enforced. But Lalo Munoz, director of the Latino Information Network of Kansas, said the goal is to make life in Kansas "unbearable" so that illegal immigrants leave.


    The business coalition's proposal is HB 2712. The measures backed by Kobach and his allies are HBs 2492, 2576, 2577 and 2578.

    Kan. House panel opens hearings on immigration - El Dorado, KS - El Dorado Times
    Last edited by HAPPY2BME; 02-14-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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