To the editor:
Secretary of State Kris Kobach lied to his Lawrence audience on Tuesday, when he said that deporting undocumented immigrants would create jobs for Kansans. It is dismaying that a person with degrees from three of the most elite intellectual institutions in the world, Harvard, Yale, and Oxford, would be so careless about the evidence for his argument.
During the Bush administration, the Council of Economic Advisers to the White House conducted a study of all available research and found that immigrants with or without legal status have a positive impact on the national economy. More workers generate economic activity, and more jobs. A very basic example is that having enough people to do the dangerous and low-paid work of meat-packing produces more opportunity for work in ranching, transportation and retail.
Also, adding more workers to an economy creates consumption, and just like anyone else, immigrants spend money on rent, utilities, groceries, recreation, and other expenses in local Kansas economies.
There is one economic benefit to the deportation efforts Kobach advocates: They are a cash cow for lawyers like himself. He has made a fortune by scaring communities into hiring him to write laws that are hostile to people of Latin American descent. This has generally not benefited his clients; it’s the protection racket of the 21st century.
Kansans need to realize that we are being sold a bill of goods that will never be delivered. Our diverse workforce and neighborhoods already do far more for Kansas than opportunist bureaucrats ever will.