Archive for Sunday, October 28, 2007

Minorities attack anti-immigration ideas

Kansas’ Hispanic and black leaders team to block pending statutes

October 28, 2007


— Hispanics and black leaders joined forces Friday to try to block anti-immigration efforts expected to be mounted in the Kansas Legislature next year.

In a joint meeting, the Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission and the Kansas African American Affairs Commission agreed to come up with a comprehensive plan to defeat anti-immigration action in the state.

"We are going to be on the defensive," said Rep. Delia Garcia, D-Wichita.

Immigration was one of several minority issues where the two state government advisory boards found some common ground. The groups also agreed to work together on health care reform in Kansas and an economic development plan to revise the state procurement processes and give minority business owners a greater share of government contracts.

"We are all in the same boat," said Steve Cisneros, KHLAAC executive director. "We are not competing for jobs - we are competing for who is going to get their unemployment check first."

The group listened to state agency officials and legislators during a daylong meeting. Repeatedly the issue of immigration crept into most of their comments, even if only briefly.

One of the backers of that immigration legislation, Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, told the joint meeting immigration issues were very high on her agenda since tough anti-immigration measures in neighboring states like Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri would send illegal immigrants into Kansas.

Landwehr said she is looking at fashioning a Kansas statute similar to that of Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act In Oklahoma, slated to go into effect on Nov. 1, has been hailed as one of the toughest among the states on illegal immigration. It will block undocumented workers from getting jobs by imposing tighter screening procedures on employers and make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to obtain public benefits.

Not everyone agreed with the idea.

"It is the question of oppression," said KHLAAC member Robert Vinton.

But, after Landwehr left, Cisneros praised her in front of the board for speaking to the two minority groups on the immigration issue, saying they could work with her on areas they could agree upon, including the need for all workers to be paid fair wages.

Cisneros also noted Landwehr is not interested in repealing the in-state tuition given to immigrants regardless of immigration status, but one of the items she wanted included in the proposed measure is a provision penalizing Kansas landlords who rent to illegal immigrants.

Crime also discussed

Among other concerns shared by Kansas blacks and Hispanics is the disproportionate number of minorities, particularly black and Hispanic juveniles, in the criminal justice system.

Russell Jennings, Kansas commissioner of juvenile justice, told participants black youths are 2.7 times more likely than white youths to be arrested, while Hispanics are 1.8 times more likely to be arrested than non-Hispanic whites.

Though he didn't have comparable data on conviction rates, Jennings said black juveniles were 2.47 times more likely to be incarcerated than whites, while Hispanic youths were 2.03 more likely than non-Hispanic whites.

Minorities also appear to serve longer sentences than whites.

Jennings cautioned the numbers do not compare the disparities according to the seriousness of the crimes and emphasized the data should not be interpreted as an indication of prejudice by law enforcement.

The disparities, he said, are because juvenile offenders tend to come from impoverished homes and neighborhoods as well as single-parent homes where there usually are no meaningful adults in their lives. Jennings said local mentoring programs would help address the problem.

The racial disparities carried through to the adult prison system in Kansas.

Secretary of Corrections Roger Werholtz told the group while blacks make up just over 5 percent of the state's population, they represent 33 percent of the inmates in Kansas prisons. Hispanics fall into a more proportionate rate, at nearly 8 percent of the state's population and 9 percent of prison inmates.

Whites make up slightly more than 80 percent of the population and 55 percent of prison inmates.

Werholtz also noted that a quarter of the prison population comes from Sedgwick County, with the largest concentration of those inmates in the 67214 ZIP code, a neighborhood in the central northeast corner of Wichita.


Fatty_McButterpants 10 years, 6 months ago

You know...I'm sorry that the economies in Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, etc. suck. I'm pretty certain that it is not my problem though. If you're unhappy with your countries economy, leadership, etc. - do something about it, besides expecting the U.S. to welcome you with open arms. The most ironic thing to me is that the people that are shouting the loudest about our "anti-immigration" laws - are people that come from countries that are known to beat, rape, rob, and murder illegal immigrants. Yes, I'm against illegal immigration. I am not against legal immigration. If you want to come here - great! Just do it the right way. If you choose to do it the wrong way (illegally) then don't be pissed when we want to send you packing.

deec 10 years, 6 months ago

Part of the reason the economies "suck" for our neighbors to the South is due to historical intervention in their political and economic affairs. The Reagan years come to mind. Therefore, it is our problem, since we helped create the poverty.

Rationalanimal 10 years, 6 months ago

Very few people in America are anti-immigration. There is however a majority that respects the rule of law and the very fundamental idea that you follow the appropriate steps to become a citizen rather than running the border in masse to overwhelm your way in. American's don't appreciate that then being branded as racists because we expect our rule of law to be respected. Frankly, its the Mexican illegal immigrants and their sympathizers who are the racists since they are demanding special treatment and exemptions from the laws of the United States of America for a special racial class. The majority of American's are anti-illegal immigration. It is the gap between these two ideas that separates the majority of Americans and the elitists in Washington.

jonas 10 years, 6 months ago

In regards to the headline, it seems like they're just reporting it the way the people in this story referred to it. Who would think that when the story is about people with obvious biases towards the situation, the story would seem biased?

Pilgrim: There's a wide continuum between the "blame America first" contingent and saying that we are absolved of all guilt in the intervention into the economies and policies of Middle and South American countries. Saying that we bear no responsibility at all is just as untrue as saying that the countries in question should not shoulder any of the blame themselves.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 6 months ago

Any good capitalist should be able to see what is going on here. There are economic advantages to be had north of the border, and there are businesses and industries willing to hire illegal immigrants for pennies on the dollar. Simple market economics.

Building walls and fences and passing anti-immigration laws will not stop the tide. It would be like trying to stop the invisible hand of the free market.

No, to stop the tide, the jobs available in the USA must dry up. This means cracking down on employers who hire illegals and be willing to pay much more for goods and services done by illegals for pennies on the dollar.

Meat, fruit, vegetables, Big Macs, clothes, everything will increase in price because more will need to be paid to those who pick crops and scrub toilets in the local KFC.

mick 10 years, 6 months ago

Russell Jennings, Kansas commissioner of juvenile justice, told participants black youths are 2.7 times more likely than white youths to be arrested, while Hispanics are 1.8 times more likely to be arrested than non-Hispanic whites... What about the fact that over half of the murders in this country are committed by black males aged 12 to 60- not politically correct to say it but true. Maybe these self-appointed "leaders" should focus on that for a minute.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 6 months ago


You can and did apply that logic to drugs, although I am not sure what your point is. How does this argument about drugs relate to illegal immigration? Or do you have a problem with market economic arguments? Are the illegals the drugs, or are the USA cheap labor jobs the drugs? And what do you mean by interdiction: stopping the supply or removing the demand? Please explain.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 6 months ago

I loathe the AP - they're incredibly liberal, and they don't try to hide it. This lame excuse for a news story is ridiculous.

Shame on the LJW for even printing this crap.

Sandra Willis 10 years, 6 months ago

IF a person is a legal member of this country - ie. not an illegal person; Why would they be upset about these requirements? It's all just a way for the government to see who isn't paying?

I'm confused.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 6 months ago

DotsLines: "Your argument seems to be that we should not try to stem the flow of illegal immigration because it goes against the free market system".

No, read my argument again. I said the way to stop it is by pursuing those willing to hire illegals for pennies on the dollar. As long as those jobs exist, people will do whatever is necessary to cross the border to get them.

I also said that market economics dictate that the more that is paid in labor costs, the more expensive items will become. Illegal immigrant labor keeps our goods and services cheap.

Read and think before posting, my fellow.

jonas 10 years, 6 months ago

"Then why is that always the first thing loons like deec can think of?"

If I had to lay a guess, it's at least partly because it seems like the first thing that the right wing loons seem to so fervently deny. I suppose the question then is why we let the loons speak for or represent the parties.

bearded_gnome 10 years, 6 months ago

Werholtz also noted that a quarter of the prison population comes from Sedgwick County, with the largest concentration of those inmates in the 67214 ZIP

seems contrary to their interest for the african-american leaders to team up in favor of illegal immigration, since often it is illegals taking jobs away from low-skill, and entry-level poor black workers. then, will make the crime problem greater in their community.

blacks should be the most opposted to illegal immigration. in south central L.A. there is a near open warfare between long intrenched black residents and encroaching mex/illegals. furthermore, the impact illegals have on the health care system disproportionately hurts poor blacks who would often use the same services; nearly 90 e.r.s have closed because of being swamped by illegals getting free medical care, so in so. cal and ariz, you often have to go further to get emergency care now thanks to the invasion.

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