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Archive for Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Church leaders ask Kansas Legislature to stay out of illegal immigration reform

Bishop Scott Jones, left, and Archbishop Joseph Naumann on Wednesday speak on illegal immigration during news conference at the Capitol. The church leaders endorsed comprehensive federal immigration reform.

Bishop Scott Jones, left, and Archbishop Joseph Naumann on Wednesday speak on illegal immigration during news conference at the Capitol. The church leaders endorsed comprehensive federal immigration reform.

November 9, 2011, 11:36 a.m. Updated November 9, 2011, 11:12 p.m.

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— Religious leaders on Wednesday urged the Kansas Legislature to leave immigration reform to the federal government, and they said they supported allowing illegal immigrants to gain some kind of legal status.

Related document

A Reflection on Illegal Immigration ( .PDF )

Renee Slinkard, who opposes allowing illegal immigrants to attain legal status, attended the news conference.

Renee Slinkard, who opposes allowing illegal immigrants to attain legal status, attended the news conference.

The Most Rev. Joseph Naumann, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, and Bishop Scott Jones, Bishop of the Kansas Area of the United Methodist Church, said the vast majority of illegal immigrants are hard-working, God-loving and family-oriented.

“Our immigration policies are so restrictive. It makes it relatively impossible to legally immigrate to this country,” Naumann said. “There have to be ways to help them achieve legal status here, if not citizenship, perhaps a worker program that will allow them to achieve legal status.”

At the news conference, Naumann and Jones were asked by Renee Slinkard, of the Tea Party Immigration Coalition, why they would want to make it easier for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship “when we are faced with all this terrorism, crime, human trafficking.”

Naumann said that “bad actors” should be deported but that most illegal immigrants have no “ill intent.” He added that many are young people brought here as children who have no connection to any country but the United States.

Slinkard later said illegal immigrants should leave the country and “go to the back of the line to get their citizenship.”

Naumann and Jones, several other Catholic leaders, and Bishop Gerald Mansholt, Bishop of the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, signed a paper that asked people to be respectful to each other in debating the issue of illegal immigration.

The paper called for comprehensive reform at the federal level that would include securing the country’s borders and a process allowing undocumented immigrants to gain legal status.

“We hope to shape a more civil conversation,” in Kansas and nationally, Jones said.

Proposals to crack down on illegal immigration are likely to be raised during the legislative session that starts in January.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, has been a national leader in writing controversial legislation aimed at illegal immigration in other states, such as SB 1070 in Arizona and Alabama’s new restrictions.

Naumann and Jones said they hoped to meet with Kobach some time to discuss the issue with him.

Contacted later by the Lawrence Journal-World, Kobach said he had read the document signed by the religious leaders and agreed with the portion that emphasized the importance of the rule of law. “There is a lot of common ground here,” Kobach said, but added that he disagreed with providing “amnesty.”

On Tuesday, the legislative champion of SB 1070 in Arizona, state Sen. Russell Pearce, was voted out of office.

He was defeated by fellow Republican Jerry Lewis in a recall election that many said was a referendum on SB 1070.

Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, said Pearce’s fate should cause state legislators to pause before trying to push through immigration legislation at the state level.

But Kobach said had Pearce faced Lewis in the Republican Party primary, Pearce would have won. And, he said, although Pearce was defeated, many more “pro-enforcement” candidates nationally have won.

Comments

restoreourcountry 2 years, 5 months ago

The child that is brought here by illegal parents can just like any other child who travels with their parents return to the parents native country since they are a minor. This is not the time to allow easy citizenship to illegal aliens when our country is vunerable of crime from open borders, and on the economic side high unemployment.

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restoreourcountry 2 years, 5 months ago

With the open borders, terrorism, murder, rape, drugs and human trafficing this is not the time to be allowing illegals in our great State of Kansas. We do not need to make it easy for illegal to migrate and we definitely do not need to incentivize them to migrate here and set up house with our tax dollars and jobs. We have a high unemployment rate and many soldiers are coming home that will not have jobs due to illegals and probably illegals with false identification. Lets get e-verify, reverse in-state tuition and penalize those that harbor illegal aliens which is a felon. The Catholic Conference should be obeying the laws of the land. Go to www.kcfile.org to sign a Petition to stop illegal immigration in Kansas.

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ochocinco 2 years, 5 months ago

Amazing how the separation of church and state argument disappears when the churches are pushing for a liberal cause.

Illegal immigration is the most dangerous thing that can happen to the American people. We should do what Kansan and former President Eisenhower did by establishing "Operation Wetback II" which rids our great land from such filth. If Mexico and its culture/economy was so great, they wouldn't be trying to get here. The fact so many think we need such people in the United States shows how big of p*ssies the average America has become.

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Stain 2 years, 5 months ago

If they sent all the illegal workers home tomorrow the packing industry and much of the farming industry in Kansas would collapse overnight.

I'm all for every worker being legal and getting legal pay and working conditions, but the hypocrites making the noise don't really want this. The way to crack down on illegal immigration is to crack down on the employers of illegals, and the Brownback team is not interested in doing that. What they really want to do is keep legal voters away from the polls.

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Ray Parker 2 years, 5 months ago

Illegal immigrants are a threat to our security and our economy, at all levels of government, a threat that is not being adequately addressed. In Kansas, we will act against this threat, with our votes and our elected and appointed officials. Kansas - more sensible that you think.

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steveguy 2 years, 5 months ago

The church NEEDS to stay out of it!

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kansasplains 2 years, 5 months ago

No, that is not the best reason for learning Spanish. People who come here must learn English. But rather it is because there is no other way to expand your knowledge to include other people of other traditions. Or do you not care at all about any other traditions? Do you not care to have friends from other countries?

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Janice Seymour 2 years, 5 months ago

So, if you do something "illegal" (hey maybe robbing a store, etc.), it is OK if you are really just a nice person trying to get by. It is not OK if you are bad person doing bad things. Who gets to decide if the illegal activity applies to them or not? It is illegal for a reason. I have seriously thought about learning Spanish (and probably will), but it burns because I have to know it to communicate with those who have come here but can't be bothered to learn our language.

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demonfury 2 years, 5 months ago

As a registered voter, I'd ask that church leaders stay the hell out of politics. Do we not understand the separation of church and state? Let our democratically elected leaders do their job. If you want to exercise your voice in the political arena, either vote or run for office. Otherwise, shut up and be a preacher, stop trying to control politicians in order to further your BS agenda.

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Liberal 2 years, 5 months ago

“Our immigration policies are so restrictive. It makes it relatively impossible to legally immigrate to this country,” Naumann said. “There have to be ways to help them achieve legal status here, if not citizenship, perhaps a worker program that will allow them to achieve legal status.”

The point is they ARE breaking the law, hard working or not, is there enough jobs for LEGAL citizens of the U.S?

No. Companies should be required to pay for deportation costs for hiring illegals. Plus penalties. Many people do follow proper immigration procedures and they should be congratulated. They have to learn more about this country than most citizens do under our current education system.

If the feds are unable/UNWILLING to enforce existing laws than it is up to the States to do it for them.

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kernal 2 years, 5 months ago

A phrase about letting immigrants jump to the front of the line has been posted by two commenters, yet no explanation as to what that means. I'm mystified; where is that coming from?

"Churches should stay out of politics, or be taxed." Well, now. These days the Church is pro people and the politics seem to be pro corporations. Es que esta bien con usted?

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kansasplains 2 years, 5 months ago

Part of the reason many Kansas react as they do is that they don't know any Mexicans or other nationalities as close friends, and they don't speak another language, so they have no idea of what their life was like growing up, or their country.

Learn another foreign language besides English! Become more aware of what's happening in the rest of the world.

And the Journal-World should do a series of interviews with people from other countries, so that many Americans, who live such closed lives, can look out and really begin to meet people from other countries.

And include a section in Spanish on the web each week for Lawrence and Kansas!

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JohnBrown 2 years, 5 months ago

"Illegal immigrants" is a point of view. Any one who is not a native American is an "illegal immigrant" or off-spring there-of. Let's ask the Lakotans about their perspective of 'illegal immigration' or the "rule of law".

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JohnBrown 2 years, 5 months ago

"Illegal immigrants" is a point of view. Any one who is not a native American is an "illegal immigrant" or off-spring there-of. Let's ask the Lakotans about their perspective of 'illegal immigration' or the "rule of law".

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LJ Whirled 2 years, 5 months ago

"Rule of Law" is a concept these church leaders should hold near and dear ... it allows them to freely practice their religion and to freely speak their minds.

Do they know they are advocating against it?

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 5 months ago

Translation of this article: We can't trust the Kansas legislature to be able to make good decisions.

That is a wise assessment.

We still need a rational immigration policy in this country that is enforced in a humanitarian way. Doing nothing is just making it worse for everybody.

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mloburgio 2 years, 5 months ago

Churches should stay out of politics, or be taxed.

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mloburgio 2 years, 5 months ago

Separation of church and state is in the Constitution, it’s called the First Amendment

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kawrivercrow 2 years, 5 months ago

I would ask them the following:

  1. What laws do I, as a citizen of the USA, have the right to thumb my nose at.

  2. If I break a law, such as fraud, and give the ill-gotten profits to my children, can they keep the money and can I get amnesty?

  3. If we continue to rub feces in the faces of legal immigrants by letting illegal aliens jump to the front of the line, how long will the legal immigrants continue to passively stand by, awaiting their turn?

Given the catholic church's longstanding participation in institutional child-rape, and the minimal consequences they have suffered despite such horrific actions, I wonder if the only lesson they have learned is that the law is only for non-church members to follow.

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overplayedhistory 2 years, 5 months ago

I would like to believe that this an attempt for Christians/Catholics (at least the ones who actual read the New Testament) to temper the obviously non-Christian behavior of the current republican party incarnation.

Then I remember my history of how successful the missionaries were in south America, and how as a result much higher percentage of Hispanics are Christian specifically Catholic.

In other words our farms are not the only entities that need these people. Not as many people in the pews on Sunday I take it.

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woodscolt 2 years, 5 months ago

What a dilemma. The right wing pretend christians who justify anything they want because, after all, god is on their side have themselves a problem here. The phony's are at odd the the ones wearing the robes. How funny.

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kujayhawk7476 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm going to assume no one who has posted here favors illegal murder, illegal rape, illegal theft, etc., so what is it about illegal immigration that you liberal, panty-wearing, sissies love SO much?

Follow the rule of law, become a citizen acording to the process, pay taxes as the rest of us do and guess what, you're more welcome than you are now. It's a simple solution to a complex problem. Now, where are those Social Security cards we need to hand out to these "hard-working" people?

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 5 months ago

The feds are allowing our border with Mexico to be a revolving door.

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kernal 2 years, 5 months ago

The first phrase in paragraph one of this story says the church leaders are asking our legislature to leave it up to the federal government to deal with illegal immigration. That's been the stance with other states as well, except for those state politicians, and Kolbach, who thought they'd make a name for themselves by enacting laws contrary to common sense and without forethought of the consequences.

If you don't like the status of illegal immigrants in KS, contact your Senator and Congressperson

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

It's disingenuous to ask the state to stay our of the illegal immigration reform issue when you know the federal government is not doing what it's supposed to. What you're really saying is that you don't want reform and you don't want enforcement. If that's your attitude, just say it. Then you can vote for people with those positions and those opposed can vote for people who do want enforcement. But saying it's not the job of the states when the federal government can't/won't act, that's dishonest. At a minimum, we should expect an honest debate from religious leaders.

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oldbaldguy 2 years, 5 months ago

We have a proud tradition of beating up on immigrants illegal or not. If someone has lived in this country for a number of years without breaking any laws and is living as a good citizen, he should get a shot at citizenship. Have any of the folks who want to kick out all the Mexicans ever talked to one? Found out what their dreams are? Give them a chance, they would be loyal Americans.

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newmommiebrazil 2 years, 5 months ago

according to the native americans, we are all illegal immigrants.

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ljreader 2 years, 5 months ago

Revenue neutral? Sorry, sales tax would have to be pretty high to cover the cost of giving birth alone, and this is an event that happens as often as nature allows. Breeding new followers for the Catholic Church- a job Americans aren't doing to the Catholic's Church satisfaction. Afterall, it's about having the number of children the American taxpayer can afford- not the number the families can afford. Hey, Catholic Church, pony up. Adopt an illegal. See you in the hospital delivery room's accounts office. See you at the school district office- You can pay for the tuition and school breakfast and lunches. The kids who are born here to illegal aliens can now toss away their Visioncards, free lunch programs, tuition wavers, and free medical cards. You can pay some drunk driving fines, and some FICA taxes. Maybe you can convince your buddies to keep some more of their earnings in this country instead of propping up the Cartels by sending money out of our economy to smuggle more Catholics in. That would be approaching revenue neutral. Reform away.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 5 months ago

"Medicaid, free housing, free school, free food, free utilities, free phones, work for cash, drive a new car." Wow. Don't know many Hispanics, do you?

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profound 2 years, 5 months ago

Medicaid, free housing, free school, free food, free utilities, free phones, work for cash, drive a new car.

I work for a living and get to fund this nonsense.

Who's the fool?

Churches need to STFU or pay taxes.

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 5 months ago

What part of "illegal" do these Padres not understand? So, why would they want this? I'd like to suggest that most Latinos are Catholic, and so allowing more Latinos to immigrate will bolster the flock and increase tithing revenue to the church. The Religious-Industrial-Congressional Complex is alive and well!!! You better believe it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAHLpY...

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somedude20 2 years, 5 months ago

"Naumann said that "bad actors" should be deported..." I concur! Ben Affleck, Marky Mark, Jonah Hill, Hugh Grant (he should be easy to ditch), Steven Seagal, Paris Hilton, Ashton Kutcher, Dane Cook, Renee Zellweger, Megan Fox (got the face but not the chops kid) French Stewart, Jamie Kennedy, Pauly Shore, Ben Stiller, David Caruso, Tom Cruise and last but not least..........Mitt Romney!

These bad actors should all be sent out of the US.

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VoiceOfReason 2 years, 5 months ago

How about the church stay out of legislation? Since when do churches, exempt from taxation, get to speak for the majority, who voted for the legislature, and who DO pay taxes?? Just because I believe in God DOES NOT mean that you speak for me on every social, political, and/or economic issue. And, as a not-for-profit, you exchange your "right" to endorse political issues for your ability to make money tax-free.

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

This should not become a racial issue we should all agree that immigration should be based upon a legal process and that all people coming into our country should follow the rules. No one here illegally should go ahead of someone else in line to become a citizen who has followed the legal process and is on a waiting list. Church leaders should support and uphold the rule of law and following and obeying the law and we should not encourage illegals to come into Kansas by tolerating employment of illegals by various companies here.

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beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

Speaking of immigration issues -- Russell Pierce, the state senate leader in Arizona and the architect of the controversial SB 1070 law, lost in his recall election last night. It is the first time EVER that a sitting state senate leader has lost a recall election.

It didn't help that his camp, including family members, was exposed for trying to run a sham, third candidate to draw Hispanic votes away from his fellow Republican challenger. This all came out about a month ago. Of course, Pierce denied knowledge of any of it, but the good people of Mesa, Arizona, didn't buy it.

Maybe a rational response to the challenges of illegal immigration is what people want after all.

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ljreader 2 years, 5 months ago

Dear Churches- I'm down with all of us staying out of immigration reform- especially the part where US citizens have to shell out billions of dollars annually to incarcerate, birth, medicate, educate, feed, and house them. Sooooo- can we count on you, churches, to foot the bills to fill your pews? Perhaps since illegal aliens cost us so much, churches should lose their tax exempt status to help cover the costs of the folks who they enable. How stupid is it to allow millions of impoverished, uneducated peasants to come here to leach off of us? Especially in this economy? We don't need immigration reform. We need immigration enforcement.

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kawrivercrow 2 years, 5 months ago

Here's an idea for the pro-illegal crowd. Why don't you all act like a bunch of histrionic heifers and sling absurd references about nazis and the KKK. That will obscure the fact that there really is no legitimate argument in favor of illegal immigration.

Oh wait, never mind. I see you already thought of it.

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2 years, 5 months ago

From the article: "At the news conference, Naumann and Jones were asked by Renee Slinkard, of the Tea Party Immigration Coalition, why they would want to make it easier for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship "when we are faced with all this terrorism, crime, human trafficking.""


It's interesting, but not surprising that the TBs equate all illegal immigration with terrorism, crime and human trafficking. This is the same scary buggabear (thanks cappy) that KKK has created. They can't seem to see outside the narrow tunnel they're traveling down. I would ask her this. What do you do with a high school graduate, brought to the US illegal immigrant parents at the ripe age of 2 months, who grew up here, is a stellar student and who knows nothing of what ever country he came from because he's never lived there.

I say the US should offer that adolescent citizenship. The TBs want to send the child back to Shanghai where he came from at the age of 2 months.


@ br. I agree with your basic premise, but no need to evoke a Godwin so soon in the thread. KKK's actions are intended to suppress voter turn out and nothing more. The Gov doesn't rein him in because he agrees implicitly with him. In fact, he probably tells him to go forth and do great things for The Family's Muscular Jesus (who's white with blond hair because they say so).

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blindrabbit 2 years, 5 months ago

Cappy: In other words that are likely to vote Democratic. Maybe Herr Kobach emulating his 1930-40's Germanic heritage.

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Kirk Larson 2 years, 5 months ago

I reiterate, Kobach's meddlings are not so much about "illegals" (other than producing a sufficiently scary buggabear), but rather about getting these voter ID laws in place to make it more difficult for students, the elderly, and those who can't afford to own a car to vote.

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ibroke 2 years, 5 months ago

you dont suppose kobach meddled in Nebraska,Arizona, Alabama because they asked him to? And besides everybody in these chats claim there is no immigration problems in Kansas so why not he work in other states ?

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blindrabbit 2 years, 5 months ago

Just keep in mind that Kansas' Kris Kobach (aka KKK) is on a ego trip to impose his radical form of right-wing whackoness about immigration. Interestingly, his Arizona legislative lacky was defeated yesterday in his re-election bid. Kobach has meddled in Nebraska, Arizona and recently Alabama. His Alabama "help" has resulted in an impossible situation for Alabama farmers to acquire field help for harvesting their crops.

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