Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Statehouse Live: Kobach in middle of another illegal immigration showdown

June 16, 2010, 10:45 a.m. Updated June 16, 2010, 6:55 p.m.


Related document

Proposed Fremont Immigration Ordinance ( .PDF )

Related document

Fact sheet on immigration measure ( .PDF )

— Fresh from igniting a political firestorm over illegal immigration in Arizona, Kansas Republican Kris Kobach is now in the middle of a similar battle in Nebraska.

On Monday, voters in Fremont, Neb., just outside Omaha, will go to the polls to decide the fate of a city ordinance that supporters say will reduce illegal immigration in the community of 25,000. Opponents say the ordinance is unconstitutional and will lead to a lengthy and costly legal battle.

At the center of the fray is Kobach, an attorney, former Kansas Republican Party chairman, and current GOP candidate for secretary of state.

Kobach wrote the proposed Fremont ordinance and has represented residents there in getting the measure on the ballot, according to news reports. He also was one of the main authors of Senate Bill 1070, which authorizes local law authorities in Arizona to question people they suspect of being in the U.S. illegally. Opponents of that law say it will lead to racial profiling. Passage of the law sparked protests nationwide.

Kobach did not return a phone call from the Journal-World concerning his involvement in the Nebraska controversy, but he told the Fremont Tribune, “This ordinance will have a very significant impact in restoring the rule of law in Fremont.

“It will protect Fremont citizens in a very difficult job environment right now. Fremonters who are out of work are having a hard enough time putting food on the table, and competing with illegal labor is a burden they should not have to face.”

But Laurel Marsh, executive director of the ACLU in Nebraska, disagrees.

Immigration law is the bailiwick of the federal government, she said.

“We don’t benefit when cities or states take it on themselves to develop separate policies,” Marsh said.

In addition, the ordinance unconstitutionally proposes to treat people who rent differently from everybody else, she said.

If adopted, a person who wants to rent a house must go down to the police station, state that he or she is in the United States legally and buy a $5 license. Every time the person moves, and rents again, they must repeat the process, she said.

“You don’t get to treat renters differently than homeowners,” she said. “This type of litigation has been proposed in multiple jurisdictions, and has been litigated in several, and to date, has never won.”

If voters approve the measure, she said the ACLU will file an immediate request in court to stop its implementation. Fremont is home to two large meatpacking plants just outside the city.

A fact sheet on the ordinance, provided by the city of Fremont, notes that legal costs in other cities that have adopted similar ordinances have been high, and that significant budget cuts, tax increases or a combination of the two may be necessary to defend the ordinance in Fremont.


Ken Harris 5 years, 3 months ago

Does this guy have the time to work for the citizens of Kansas?

lounger 5 years, 3 months ago

He is a Nazi. Period. I hope he changes his mind about getting into the capital. He is scary.

madameX 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't have a problem with requiring employers to check immigration status, and actually think that cracking down on employers is probably one of the more effective tactics to prevent illegal immigration, but a renters' license? Really? That is sort of nazi-like.

kernal 5 years, 3 months ago

Require renters to get a license?! That makes no sense at all, no matter how conservative a person is. I wonder if the reporter meant landlords would be required to be licensed, instead of tennants, aka renters.

bd 5 years, 3 months ago

Good Job! He has my vote! Illegals need to be sent back home! ALSO NO MORE ANCHOR BABIES!

mr_right_wing 5 years, 3 months ago

Yeah! People like you, who aren't defender! You all couldn't be stupider if you tried really hard!

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 3 months ago

How about going after the employers at the meat-packing plant who knowingly hire illegal immigrants? Or would this be interfering with free enterprise?

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, the employers can check with e verify, but it won't stop them from hiring unless they are policed.

madameX 5 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm, I kinda thought that was the case, but I didn't have time to look it up and wasn't going to say so for fear of a know-it-all smackdown from some LJ World know-it-all. So I suppose I should amend my original comment to say that I don't have a problem with enforcement of laws that require employers to verify immigration status. My broader point, however, was that I do think that focusing on employers as the reason people enter the country illegally is, in the long run, going to be a more effective strategy than focusing on the actual individuals.

Totally agree re: stirring the pot, making themselves look good etc., although I wonder if people who are all gung ho for shrinking government realize what a burearacratic, big government-y mess requiring everyone who rents their home to have a license has the potential to become?

kernal 5 years, 3 months ago

The problem with Form I-9, is really good fake IDs can be purchased. Believe me, there are a lot of illegals out there using other peoples ID and until some Federal laws change, there is no reporting method required, or allowed, unless there is indication the poser may be a terroristic threat to the U.S.

workinghard 5 years, 3 months ago

I was searching for something on the internet the other day and clicked on a link and instead of being related to what I was looking for it was a site selling fake documents. Upon further searching I found out how easy, and cheap, it is to get an authentic looking fake ID or documents online.

thatonedude 5 years, 3 months ago


kernal 5 years, 3 months ago

Dear Mr. Kobach: Please do Not focus on your own state.

9070811 5 years, 3 months ago

Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)

kernal 5 years, 3 months ago

Aha! David Duke & Kris Kolbach = kissin' cuzzins!

Richard Payton 5 years, 3 months ago

Note: The Martians want Kobach to show his papers. This guy needs to be shipped out of Kansas.

dinglesmith 5 years, 3 months ago

I will ask again how a full-time faculty member at UMKC can also be a full-time consultant. Do we want a full-time secretary of state who is a full-time legal consultant? Is he exempt from such criticism?

jaywalker 5 years, 3 months ago

The man is helping communities enact federal law on the local and state level - and for that there are many here calling him a nazi? The future of the country is indeed grim if these 'minds' are matriculating from U's like my beloved Kansas.

madameX 5 years, 3 months ago

The employer verification stuff is one thing, what's ridiculous, IMO, is the renters' license stuff.

Jock Navels 5 years, 3 months ago

ok...illegal alien gets fake IDs, applies for a job. employer fills out I-9 form, along with employee applicant filling out a W-4 form. illegal alien goes to work, gets a paycheck...social security, medicare, income tax withholding and state income tax withholding are taken out of paycheck, and deposited in government tax collection accounts...illegal alien has paid taxes, and won't be able to collect entitlements (soc sec, medicare) in the future. Employee fills out W-3 form in January, sends it off to IRS with copies of employees W-2 forms...IRS should detect fake ID social security number. Feds should detain illegal alien. Done done and done...no new regs or laws are necessary. Why doesn't this happen? because corporations don't want it to happen...they have access to an unorganized low-wage labor pool that won't whistleblow on things like safety standards, unpaid overtime, and so forth...serfs...

olddognewtrix 5 years, 3 months ago

Kobach is an unscrupulus charlatan trying to ride on a tide of xenophobia to fame and fortune. Much like the fanaticisms of Fred Phelps and Phil Kline. Wake up Kansas--haven't we had more than our fair share of fanatics!

catsmeow 5 years, 3 months ago

Thanks Mr. Kobach. You are a hero! The work you do to help other states will ultimately help Kansas.

thatonedude 5 years, 3 months ago

Oh shut up, Kris. We all know it's you.

ivalueamerica 5 years, 3 months ago

Hmm, grandstanding at the expense of the taxpawyer by offering laws known to be contrary to the Constitution.

If you want to fight illegal immigration, fight it legally, not by violating the Constitution.

Otherwise, you are a fool....to break one law to try and enforce another makes you no different than them.

Kobach is a traitor.

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