A new battle ground has appeared in the fight against illegal migration. The heartland is the new field chosen by the “White Knight Templar” Kris Kobach and his personal crusade against this phenomenon. A very smart moved for his cause after testing the grounds in Arizona. This time he might succeed knowingly that Kansas resides on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which according to Dion Lefler from the Wichita Post, “has a long history of precedents upholding the principles that underline HB 2372;” while Arizona sits on the Ninth. But, are the State of Kansas and Kansans residents ready to fight the battle the new GOP legislature is putting on their shoulders? What could be the consequences and what are possible reasonable solutions? Why the GOP doesn’t use their “double morality” in their favor and gain even more adepts to their “conservative” cause? A smart moved that can lead to regain Presidency in 2012. But that is the problem, Smart and GOP sounds more like an oxymoron these days.
According to Kansas Association of Ethanol Processors web page, Olathe Representative Lance Kinzer introduced HB 2372 bill. I personally think he was influenced by his mightiest hero the “White Templar Knight,” as he was the Regional Director of Sam Brownback’s 2004 campaign, but again, these are only my thoughts. Lance is also known for his stand against Gays and Lesbians in Kansas (Next possible post?).
L.I.N.K (Latino Informational Network of Kansas) did a brief underline view of the bill:
- Requires State and Cities to use E-Verify federal program, including contractors and subcontractors.
- Allows local enforcement to inquire about your citizenship if “Reasonable suspicion” exists.
- Makes a crime to harbor, transport anyone who is undocumented
- Makes against the law for an undocumented individual to received public benefits.
- Makes a Crime to forget to carry your immigration documents.
What are the consequences of all of these? Why are Kansans going to be affected in the worse way instead of beneficiating from this crusade?
- Immigration is a “Federal” problem that has to be addressed by federal government. If a state tries to tackle this federal issue, it will lead to high costly litigations; costs that the state will pass to tax payers and at the end, provides no real benefits to communities (see Arizona).
- Taxpayers are already “paying” for immigration by paying federal taxes, now Kobach and Brownback want Kansans to pay double for this issue, placing another level of bureaucracy for business and again, more budget waste.
- Small family business will be affected even more, some of them might not have a full time HR professional, this will incurred in more dollars and time wasted instead of production.
- Mandating state contractors to use E-Verify might lead these contractors to leave state, with that, all possible “good” jobs. Let’s face it; immigrants are doing the hard jobs American’s DON’T WANT to do.
- Alowing third parties to get actions against companies or state for failing to enforce this law, will generate costs for these companies or government to defend, a cost that will be passed to taxpayers sooner or later.
- Know that ALL restaurants and hotels will have to close. All those kitchen jobs are there, but who is going to cook for eight 8 hours a day get a bad paid? NOBODY, that’s why you only see immigrants in restaurant kitchens or fixing your bed at hotels; because no person with legal rights to work in the US wants to do the dirty jobs.
- Conventions cancelled (see Arizona again), Tourism affected, Contractors doing business elsewhere. All these will only create “Ghost Towns” just like it did in Oklahoma and Iowa. All those city mayors and police chiefs who supported in-state immigration laws are now jobless.
- Think about all the citizens stopped by “reasonable suspicion” that will sue the state, city, and local police departments for violating their rights. This is definitely a racial profiling issue, and lots of citizens will be affected by it. Connie O’Brian, Republican Representative told on a hearing that she can tell who is illegal just by looking at their “Olive complex.” Native Americans have that olive complex she’s referring to; Italian descendants have that olive complex. Is the State of Kansas ready to face all those sues? Another tab that tax payers will have to pick!
How to really face the problem as state when federal government is not doing enough? How the “double morality” of the GOP can be used in the advantage of the state? Utah has decided to tackle this problem in a more humane way, using the problem for their benefit to generate MILLIONS in revenue for the state. When the HB 2372 bill was presented to the house, Kobach said he estimates at least nine thousand undocumented live in Kansas (how does he know that?)
The Utah Pilot Accountability Permit Program was introduced by Democratic State Senator Luz Robles and Republican State Representative Jeremy Peterson to allow undocumented immigrants to work in the state; requiring background checks, learning English, paying taxes, Lived and work in Utah for last two years (which most already do), and pay $2,500.00. They estimate the revenue from those workers to generate “ELEVEN MILLIONS” for the state on the first six months at least, and TWENTY MILLIONS the next year. That bill was signed into a law by Gov. Gary Herbert on March 15th 2011. If Kansas have nine thousand undocumented immigrants, and all of them pay the $2,500.00, Kansas could get 22,500,000 in the same period if Kobach estimation is accurate (which I doubt it, I think he’s short). That extra revenue could and probably SHOULD be used for public EDUCATION, so all the white immaculate white Kansans kids can have the bright future as foreseen by the GOP. Did you know Gov. Sam Brownback cut 56 million in public schools budget while all Kansans were watching KU Jayhawks getting crowned in the big 12 tournament? A sneaky move by the GOP side.
Another way to generate revenue for the State is allowing these PEOPLE to get state driver license. $16.00 fee by nine thousand could generate another 144 thousand extra for the state. This will also help all Kansans because it will allow undocumented people to obtain insurance. If any person gets into a car accident with any of these unlicensed drivers, guess who will have to absorb the whole repair costs?
Kansas decided to join the “UNION” in 1861 as a “FREE” state, after a series of events known as “Bleeding Kansas,” that started from the Kansas-Nebraska Act and followed by the sparked of Civil War. Kansas has the opportunity to be once again the breaking ground on a new event. But instead of joining the union and letting federal government tackle their own issues, they have decided to join the rebel states and create their own laws. Why not create laws to benefit the state instead of damaging it? Creating laws similar to Utah in Kansas will bring more benefits for everybody. Some will argue that legal status can only be granted by federal government, but then it is also true that ONLY federal government can prosecute undocumented immigrants. Since federal government is doing little or nothing to fix this issue, promising and promising on each electoral period but not delivering. This new Kansas State GOP Legislature should step ahead on the game and play humanitarian “morality;” after all, is not the first time the GOP had played this card. Or is there any Democrat brave enough out there to create a bill like Utah did?
Lefler, Dion. “House Panel Tackles Immigration Measur.” The Wichita Eagle. Mar 11,2011
Legislative Update. Kansas Association of Ethanol Processors. Mar 7, 2011
Kenneth P. Jameson. “HOW MANY UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS LIVE IN UTAH A DIRECT MEASURE”http://www.ipia.utah.edu/workingpapers/2009_12_16.pdf
KS GOP Rep. Connnie O’Brien says she can tell who is “illegal” because they have “the olive complexion.”
February 15. http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/15/ks-gop-rep-obrien/
L.I.N.K Latino Informational Network of Kansas. “HB2372.”