Archive for Thursday, March 27, 2008

Senate advances illegal immigration bill

March 27, 2008

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— In a divisive debate, the Kansas Senate today advanced a business-backed bill on illegal immigration that opponents said wasn't strong enough.

"They take our jobs and use our welfare dollars, and it is costing a fortune," said state Sen. Peggy Palmer, R-Augusta.

Palmer pushed for an amendment that she said was tougher. It could have shut down businesses that were found to have hired illegal immigrants, repealed the state law that allows some illegal immigrants to pay the lower in-state tuition and required businesses to use the federal E-Verify database to check on employees' citizenship status.

"It takes the rewards and incentives away," Palmer said of her proposal. But the measure failed 12-27. Both of Lawrence's state senators, Marci Francisco, a Democrat, and Roger Pine, a Republican, voted against Palmer's effort.

Business interests lobbied hard against the Palmer bill, saying it could result in shutting businesses that unknowingly hired illegal immigrants.

"This amendment turns businesses in Kansas into the immigration police," said sate Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita.

And others argued the Palmer bill removed significant anti-illegal immigration provisions that were put together by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee.

Substitute for Senate Bill 458, which won first-round approval in the Senate, would prohibit businesses from knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant and would allow prosecutors to bring a civil suit for a violation. Courts could order employers to stop hiring illegal workers and eventually fine or jail them for contempt of court, supporters said.

The measure also creates new offenses for knowingly using false identification to get a job, human trafficking and taking advantage of people based on their status as an illegal immigrant.

It would keep intact the 2004 law that allows the children of some illegal immigrants to pay the same lower tuition rates as legal Kansans at state universities, community colleges and vocational schools. Under the law, the student must have lived in Kansas at least three years, graduated from a Kansas high school, and seek or promise to seek legal status.

Numerous attempts have been made to undo that law since its enactment, but they have all failed. Those opposed to the law say it is giving illegal immigrants an improper benefit. An attempt to repeal the law during debate failed 14-25.

In Kansas, 243 students are receiving the in-state tuition under the law, according to the Kansas Board of Regents. Most of those - 193 - are attending community colleges; 46 are at state universities, including 11 at Kansas University; three are at technical schools; and one is at a technical college.

The debate started at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and ended at 12:40 a.m today, and showed the emotions and complexity of the issue.

Several lawmakers remarked about nasty e-mails they received from people wanting to crack down on illegal immigrants.

Some legislators said states have been forced to try to control immigration because the federal government has failed.

"Saying it's a federal government problem just isn't cutting it," said state Sen. Ralph Ostemeyer, R-Grinnell.

But state Sen. Chris Steineger, D-Kansas City, Kan., said immigration was a phony issue drummed up by politicians trying to divert the public's attention from real problems.

"It's an issue that is designed to appeal to people's worst instincts," Steineger said.

Comments

KsTwister 7 years, 4 months ago

"But state Sen. Chris Steineger, D-Kansas City, Kan., said immigration was a phony issue drummed up by politicians trying to divert the public's attention from real problems."

He is the problem. Goodbye Senator. Voters will remember you next election too. Illegals hurt the legal immigrants just as much as any of us. If you cannot figure out how its time you are replaced.

warthog 7 years, 4 months ago

"But state Sen. Chris Steineger, D-Kansas City, Kan., said immigration was a phony issue drummed up by politicians trying to divert the public's attention from real problems.

"It's an issue that is designed to appeal to people's worst instincts," Steineger said."

No, it appeals to people's sense of fair play. If you want the American way of life, you need to follow the rules. One of those rules is not to enter the country illegally. That makes you a criminal from the time you set foot on American soil. Apparently, we're supposed to overlook that. And overlook when they steal social security numbers for identification; a federal offense. Or drive illegally. Or sponge off the healthcare and welfare system...

It appears to me that the illegal immigrants are the ones suffering from the use of their "worst instincts." If over 12 miliion people illegally invading our borders isn't a real problem to you, maybe YOU are the problem.

jumpin_catfish 7 years, 4 months ago

Steineger is another demorat spinning the facts. Vote him out and all who vote to support illegals in this country. This issue is about fair play and the rule of law.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

"Some legislators said states have been forced to try to control immigration because the federal government has failed. 'Saying it's a federal government problem just isn't cutting it,' said state Sen. Ralph Ostemeyer, R-Grinnell."


You're wrong Ralph, illegal immigration is a Federal issue. Why are any of the states bothering with this issue anyway? Is it the Republicans acting like the Democrats of old, and asserting state's rights?

I agree with the necessity to provide a high school (12th grade) education, but there is no need to educate beyond that level. Besides, there are way bigger things to worry about than 243 students attending post-secondary education. For instance, how did they get in anyway, false social security numbers or what? If it's known that they're illegal, why aren't they being deported? They're over 18.

On another note, when the KS legisature starts worrying about illegal immigration, I have visions of being required to go through a border checkpoint when crossing back into KS. Will the Border Ruffians and the Redlegs be looking at each other with loaded weapons at Stateline Ave in KC?

pisafromthewest 7 years, 4 months ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says:

"Other than the arbitrary rule that you must be given permission to come and provide services in exchange for pay?"

"Arbitrary?" That's an "arbitrary" rule, defining the conditions under which one is allowed to enter the country? Perhaps you'd be kind enough to give us an example of a country (or union of countries) that isn't so "arbitrary," where the accepted way to enter the country is sneaking across the desert or hidden in the back of a truck without any documentation? You really don't see any benefit in controlling border crossing? It's just an "arbitrary" rule? Brilliant as always.


jaketh (Anonymous) says:

"Whenever there is an economic downturn, someone has to be blamed. Migrants are easy targets."

Pretty sure people were complaining about illegal immigrants before there was any word of an "economic downturn."

"For those of you who have any of these heritage, you should only ask your grand parents or great-grand parents about the discrimination they faced by the WASP's."

I have talked to my grandparents. They hated each other. It wasn't just the WASPs who didn't want them here, they didn't want each other here. (You might want to see how Mexico treats illegals trying to cross their southern borders. Mexico doesn't want Guatemalans taking away American jobs from Mexicans.)

Incidentally, the immigrant wave to which you refer brought with it highly skilled people who built this country. Not vegetable pickers.

"This tomato farmer from PA is paying people about $14/hour to work on the fields but he still cannot find an American worker. So he has stopped tomato farming."

Nice story.

Sounds like he couldn't find any immigrant workers either. If he can't get any central American illegals to pick his tomatoes for $14/hr in Pennsylvania, there's something a little more wrong with the picture than a labor shortage.

GIHAWK 7 years, 4 months ago

"This amendment turns businesses in Kansas into the immigration police," said sate Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita.

Nice to see this nut case is still around...

ASBESTOS 7 years, 4 months ago

We need to follow ALL of these traitorous Senators that are supporting illegal alien rights and continued cover for employers of illegal aliens, and see just WHO is working for these senators and their "fundraiser's". There is clearly a "quid pro quo" here, and "looking the other way in order to secure a political "special interest group" or being a lapdog for corporate and business interests .

Welcome to the "CORPORATE STATES OF AMERICA".

Seems as if the TV show "JERICHO" is not far off the mark.

There are abunch of corrupt so called leaders in the Kansas Senate that need to be harassed (politically), and hounded (legally) or made to leave office on their own accord.

IF this is all the better judgement skills they possess, they just showed they are uniquely UNQUALIFIED to be in this responsible elected position!

geekin_topekan 7 years, 4 months ago

Right on.Instate tuition shall be the one factor that removes the "illegal" in these people and clears the path to legality the that they seek.Being how that is the rule.Apply/seek citizenship. Achieve those goals and our "illegal" friends will not only become "legal" but educated!!It's a win-win!!

geekin_topekan 7 years, 4 months ago

dumping their poor, their uneducated, their sick and pregnant, and their criminal population upon American taxpayers.. ++++ Naw,America produces enough of them without help. I really dont believe that they are going to college to advance your portrait of immigrants on anyone.Very sensational image though.Im impressed.

Frank Smith 7 years, 4 months ago

I spoke to a nearly retired public assistance supervisor and she says that they have zero problems with undocs getting welfare. She says the only problem that she's found is when a undoc fathers a child, it can be difficult to impossible to chase them for support payments, especially if they've gone back to Mexico or wherever.

The failure of the Bush administration to deal with immigration (he has 30,000 "detainees" mostly in for-profit prisons, that charge close to $100 a day), added to the passage of NAFTA by Clinton and his Republican allies, as well as prior legislation pushed by GWHB, has left many Kansas businesses where they are today. A population loss in rural Kansas has left a severe shortage of workers in industries such as slaughterhouses. Young citizens have moved away for much higher paying jobs, to get educations, etc. Only a worker program can legally fill that gap, but most Republicans are too busy posturing to accomodate that reality.

jaketh 7 years, 4 months ago

People who live in glass houses should not throw rocks. We, Americans are lazy period. We cannot do the hard work like our forefathers. Our prosperity has made us soft.

Whenever there is an economic downturn, someone has to be blamed. Migrants are easy targets. Bashing migrants and whipping up the emotional frenzy about illegal immigration is a fear tactic.

This country was built on migration. Only about 100 years ago, Irish, Italians, Germans, Jewish & Bohemians faced the same wrath. For those of you who have any of these heritage, you should only ask your grand parents or great-grand parents about the discrimination they faced by the WASP's.

State Houses cannot fix the immigration problem as it is a federal issue. They may be able to plug the holes but who is going to fill the tank? There are two sides to a coin. If the State Houses are going to go after illegal immigration, then, they should also provide relief to the employers which they cannot.

It is obviously not Americans. State Houses cannot increase the quota for work visas or overhaul the immigration law.

There are jobs out there that no American wants to do. This tomato farmer from PA is paying people about $14/hour to work on the fields but he still cannot find an American worker. So he has stopped tomato farming.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/24/news/economy/Immigrant_Labor.ap/index.htm

aginglady 7 years, 4 months ago

I support us thinking more like the Australians do/did. In the 70's some friends wanted to live and work there. A couple had lots of money, another had contracting ecperience. The people who had lots of money, had a much harder time getting in, because Aust. was looking for skilled people.

LiLi2008 7 years, 2 months ago

Hi i am kenneth.I do agree with this new era in immigration at some point for it will serve as a security in the country. It can also be the solution to the problems of maintaining a lower supplies of backlogs. It is very important nowadays to get the key immigrants at their most in a short period of time.This is not yet approved right? but I'll support this newly introduced legislation._______LiLiNew York Immigration Lawyer Marina Shepelsky, located in Brooklyn, assists clients from the New York metro area and across the United States in all immigration and naturalization matters http://www.e-us-visa.com

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