A Lawrence group will stage a peaceful protest Tuesday before Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s speech on immigration at the Lied Center.
“While we respect Kobach’s freedom to present his opinions to the university community, it is important to remind people that the policies he promotes are very harmful,” said Sean Weston, a leader with the Lawrence Action Network for Diversity and a Kansas University freshman in American Studies.
Kobach, who has helped pass laws and ordinances across the nation aimed at illegal immigration, will deliver a lecture entitled “State and local laws discouraging illegal immigration: Their economic and security impact.” The lecture is part of the J.A. Vickers and Robert E. Vickers Sr. Memorial Lecture Series put on by the KU School of Business.
Kobach is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. The protest will take place at 6 p.m. at the Lied Center’s southeast parking lot.
Members of LAND said that studies show that undocumented workers are an integral part of the economy and that they are less likely to commit crimes than their citizen counterparts.
“Deporting them would cause economic disaster and family destruction — surely not Kansas values,” said Enrique Penaloza, pastor of Hispanic Ministries at Plymouth Congregational Church.
The Lawrence Action Network for Diversity was formed to help prevent an Arizona-style immigration law from being passed in Kansas. Kobach helped write that law, which requires police to question people’s immigration status while enforcing other laws if there is a reasonable suspicion they’re in the country illegally. Major parts of that law have been blocked by a federal court.