Archive for Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Trump’s decision to phase out DACA sparks partisan reactions in Kansas

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Congressional leaders and administration officials on tax reform, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Congressional leaders and administration officials on tax reform, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

September 5, 2017


Kansas public officials were sharply divided along party lines Tuesday in response to President Donald Trump's decision to phase out an Obama-era program that has allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children to obtain work permits and remain here without fear of deportation.

The program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was launched in 2012 by an executive order. Since then, an estimated 800,000 young undocumented immigrants known as "Dreamers" have obtained work permits under the program nationwide, including nearly 7,000 in Kansas.

Attorneys general in 10 states, including Kansas, joined a federal lawsuit in Texas challenging the program, claiming it conflicted with federal statutes and was an impermissible use of executive authority.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a statement Tuesday praising President Trump's decision.

“The Trump administration’s actions today return the issue to the only place constitutionally empowered to resolve it: The United States Congress," Schmidt said in a news release. "Congress has had more than five years to address this issue and has done nothing, but perhaps having a legal deadline, after which neither the president nor the courts will continue to turn a blind eye to unlawful executive actions, can motivate Congress to act."

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that the Trump administration was rescinding the DACA program and that no new applications would be taken. However, he said the administration would give Congress six months to address the issue through legislation, if it chooses to do so, before it stops renewing permits for people already covered by the program.

Kansas 2nd District Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, a Topeka Republican whose district includes Lawrence, said she looked forward to working on a legislative solution, but she was vague about what that program would look like.

"These children did not come to America on their own terms, they simply followed their parents," Jenkins said in a news release. "In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with my colleagues to create a permanent solution through the legislative process with input from Kansans in the 2nd District.”

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has crusaded for tough laws at the federal, state and local levels to combat illegal immigration, said on the cable news show Fox and Friends that he supported repealing DACA, and that he opposes replacing it with a congressionally enacted plan.

"It's a tough job market, and those in Congress who are saying, 'Mr. President, don't get rid of this DACA amnesty,' should remember, our young U.S. citizens are having a really tough time," Kobach said. "Why would you want to give an amnesty to 1.7 million young illegal aliens to compete against them?"

Third District Congressman Kevin Yoder, an Overland Park Republican, posted a statement on Facebook saying he opposed DACA and believes it, “has served as a magnet, bringing tens of thousands of new immigrants, exacerbating our illegal immigration challenges, and creating a humanitarian crisis at the border."

“The President has given Congress a six-month window to act on immigration reform, and that’s exactly what we should do,” Yoder said in the statement. “We must secure our borders, repair our broken visa program, and provide needed reforms and certainty and stability for minors. We must pursue policies that are both compassionate and restore the rule of law in our country.”

Fourth District Congressman Ron Estes, a Wichita Republican, also issued a statement praising Trump's decision.

“This decision gives Congress time to fix our broken immigration system," he said in a news release. "Congress can do this by securing our borders, reviewing our immigration process, and not providing amnesty to those who disregard our nation’s laws.”

On Friday last week, a number of Democrats in the Kansas Legislature took part in a Statehouse rally in support of the DACA program.

On Tuesday, House Democratic Leader Jim Ward of Wichita, who is also running for governor, joined Reps. John Alcala of Topeka, Louis Ruiz of Kansas City, Kan., and Ponka-We Victors of Wichita in issuing a joint statement condemning the decision to end DACA.

“We are appalled and outraged at the decision of President Trump to end the DACA program," the Democrats said. "This is a merciless move that not only harms more than 800,000 Americans, but the United States’ economy, workforce, and well-being. DACA recipients contribute $1.2 billion in new tax revenue every year. 95% of DACA participants are currently working or in school."

Rabbi Moti Rieber, executive director of Kansas Interfaith Action, a statewide faith-based advocacy organization, also issued a statement condemning the decision.

"The decision to dismantle the DACA program is an affront to basic human decency," Rieber said in a news release. "The major religious traditions teach us to welcome the stranger and to treat people fairly. This decision runs directly counter to those teachings. It harms not only the people directly involved, but frankly, the very soul of our nation."


Richard Heckler 7 months, 2 weeks ago

MainPAC, the political action committee of the MainStream Coalition, has released candidate recommendations for the 2017 general elections in Johnson, Wyandotte, and Douglas Counties, Kansas.

See MainPAC's 2017 general election recommendations Local elections have tremendous influence in your communities, and can set the stage for candidates to enter elections for higher office. Be sure to vote. Contact your local election office for details on races in your area.

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Election day: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

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Michael Kort 7 months, 2 weeks ago

There goes 60 $ BILLION a year in taxes tax that the Dreamers are paying to the Fed ........not to mention their contributions to the Medicare and Social Security systems that they pay in yearly to support older Americans......over 10 years that will be 6/10ths of a $ TRILLION that could be rebuilding Americas Infrastructure, aiding disaster victums to recover, fighting our wars, etc..

Do you think that Trump is going to give them back their investments in Medicare and Social Security ?......Really......

If they pay 60 $ BILLION in taxes yearly imagine how much they must spend on STUFF that supports OTHERS INCOMES from them being here .

I know that bigotry and imagination don't exactly go together too well .

Not to worry because Trump, the KKK and the Dumbarters are going to all pitch in and make up all of that 60 $ BILLION YEARLY that is about to be lost forever and a day .............well,.......not really .......that was just a lie in support of the fake media........but they will send the bill for their bigoted appetites on to you, your family, your friends and your neighbors .

If you voted for Trump be happy because you are getting what you asked for and deserve for your thoughtlessness .

Sorry, no Dreamers for your Military, no Dreamer infrastructure repair money or Dreamer fight the wars money,.......or Dreamer money to restore Houston, the Mega EPA Superfund Site .with thousands of homes gone and an obvious need for huge flood control updates .

Robert Brock 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Kansans should be singled out to pay for The Wall. Paranoid racists...

Bob Smith 7 months, 2 weeks ago

What one President does by decree, the next President can undo. That was the weakness of ruling by executive order.

Phillip Chappuie 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The current President's decision making ability is generally borne out through ignorance and prejudice. These DACA individuals are in the huge part hard working taxing paying persons or students or both. The infuse billions into our economy. To say they are taking jobs from Americans is just plain ignorant. They receive no amnesty. And there are hundreds of legal scholars across the nation that will tell us the original E.O. was perfectly constitutional. Removing the protections from these people who have made America their home is just not in keeping with what we should be embracing as American values.

Brock Masters 7 months, 2 weeks ago

"And there are hundreds of legal scholars....". Yes, I am sure there are and Obama makes 101 and all would be wrong as it has been ruled unconstitutional.

Marc Wilborn 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes, but DACA is unconstitutional and would not survive a challenge in the SCOTUS. This move was inevitable as someone would challenge it eventually. It is not up to the Congress to improve the Obama EO and get it passed into law. While not easy, this is the correct path.

Clara Westphal 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I resent having had to pay out-of-state tuition for my sons to go to KU while these DACA students are allowed in-state tuition. We lived only 4 miles from the Kansas border..

A federal law states that non-citizens shall not receive benefits not available to American citizens but this is what is happening. Another law ignored just like many other laws.

Brock Masters 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't understand the support for people here illegally. We have young Americans that go hungry each day, we have young Americans that go to substandard schools, we have American veterans that are jobless and homeless, we have young men who have no career future but we demand illegal aliens get to bypass the legal immigration process so they can get an education and a job.

800, 000 jobs that will not be available to Americans.

To dollars used to educate illegal immigrants that could have been directed to Americans in need Why? Why are we not screaming about Americans in need like we are about illegal aliens who have no right to be here.

I know it offends some, but I believe in putting Americans first.

Richard Aronoff 7 months, 2 weeks ago

What part of "the executive order was unconstitutional" do some of you not understand.

Trump could have cancelled it immediately but gave Congress a six month window to deal with the problem. He did that because he knew that if he simply said "fix this" without a time frame Congress would do what it has done on this issue for thirty years ----- nothing.

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