Archive for Friday, September 8, 2017

Trump’s immigration decision brings protesters to downtown Lawrence

About 150 people participated Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in a march downtown in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

About 150 people participated Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in a march downtown in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

September 8, 2017


The line of marchers stretched the length of the block.

As they proceeded along Massachusetts Street, they alternated among chants such as “People are not illegal” and “Here to stay.”

Lacee Roe was one of those at the front of the group, holding a bright yellow banner printed with multicolored butterflies and the words “Lawrence, KS, Protects Dreamers.”

At one point, the protesters chanted “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”

Mayor Leslie Soden speaks at the Lawrence Defends DACA Solidarity March, held Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in downtown Lawrence.

Mayor Leslie Soden speaks at the Lawrence Defends DACA Solidarity March, held Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in downtown Lawrence.

Roe was one of about 150 people who participated in the Lawrence Defends DACA Solidarity March Thursday, which was held in support of an Obama-era program that has allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children — commonly called "dreamers" — to obtain work permits and protection from deportation. President Donald Trump announced this week he would phase out the program.

In addition to the chants, the marchers held signs stenciled with “Defend DACA” or “Protect dreamers." At times, people sitting at sidewalk tables applauded as the marchers passed, while some motorists honked or cheered.

For Roe, who is Filipino-American, DACA is an issue that goes beyond the dreamers and beyond immigration policy.

“Racism is definitely very much at the core of this issue,” Roe said. “There are a lot of misunderstandings and stereotypes that people have about others who are different from them. So that’s why I showed up.”

Orlando Martinez was another among the group. He wore a black T-shirt printed with “We are all immigrants.” Martinez said he was there to show his support for the many people he knows affected by the DACA decision.

“When I first heard the news, my first response was pretty emotional,” Martinez said. “Even though I wasn’t directly affected, it affected people that I know, people I grew up with and people that I’m close with. It became a personal issue for me.”

It was also an issue for Connie Fitzpatrick, one of the organizers of the event. Fitzpatrick said her hope was to unite people affected by the DACA announcement and show them community support.

“To show that even though the Trump administration will do what they do, here in Lawrence we support DACA and our immigrants,” said Fitzpatrick, who noted that she’d also like to see the local government show support officially in some way. “To show that we can gather and work together here locally, despite what happens in D.C.”

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 have obtained work permits under the program, including nearly 7,000 in Kansas.

The march ended just east of downtown, where Fitzpatrick and others shared information over a PA about locations to receive counseling about DACA and renewal deadlines.

Among the crowd was Mayor Leslie Soden, and before the microphone was turned off, she also commented on the local impact of the DACA announcement. Soden told those gathered that the dreamers are neighbors, friends and members of the community who have been hurt by the recent actions on DACA.

“Treating them as less than human is an attitude I cannot ignore,” Soden said.

Tania Sosa, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico two years before she was born, said she has three friends who are part of DACA. She said she wants people in their situation to be able to study and work in the U.S.

“DACA wasn’t perfect, but it was a sense of hope for these immigrants,” Sosa said.

The DACA program stopped accepting applications Tuesday, and members of the Trump administration have said Congress will have six months to address the issue through legislation. Some critics of DACA say the program was unconstitutionally enacted, and it’s unclear whether Congress will choose to take up the issue.


Richard Heckler 6 months, 1 week ago

So, it is up to the public to quarantine this presidency by insistently communicating to its elected representatives a steady, rational fear of this man whose combination of impulsivity and credulity render him uniquely unfit to take the nation into a military conflict.

Why did republicans choose to support a damn fool like Trump?

Watergate, Iran Contra, several financial fiascos have occurred under the conservative umbrella since Reagan/Bush. So to say there is not a pattern is nonsense.

Why shouldn't law enforcement be interested in a man who got bailed out of bankruptcy through Russian crime bosses?

Trump is the greater threat to USA security, Economic Growth and/or foreign policy.

RJ Johnson 6 months, 1 week ago

DACA was a just a band-aid to mask the real problem and now needs to be fixed. We'll now see what congress does, if anything.

A lot these children are now 20-35 years of age and have yet to make application for U.S. citizenship! That ought to tell you something!!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 1 week ago

They can't apply for US citizenship. Do you know nothing about DACA? Obama set it up, so they could at least hold a job legally and attend school. Only Congress could pass a law allowing them to apply for citizenship. The Dream Act was even written by Democrats and Republicans. Here is the act that they have tried and tried to get through Congress without success, because they are always trying to tie it to something else. All these Dreamers want to become citizens. All of them.

Scott Burkhart 6 months, 1 week ago

“Racism is definitely very much at the core of this issue,” Roe said. “There are a lot of misunderstandings and stereotypes that people have about others who are different from them. So that’s why I showed up.”

This demonstrator cannot argue the Constitution or the rule of law so the last line of defense is to scream racism. This is a tired argument with no basis in reality. Either we enforce the laws of our country or we become a third world, banana republic dictatorship where whomever occupies the Oval office can draft laws at their whim. Obama should have never enacted DACA and he even said, on multiple occasions in front of multiple microphones and cameras, that he was not the "emperor" of the United States and did not have the power to make laws.

The only thing being done with DACA is it is being allowed to expire like so many tax laws of the past. President Trump campaigned on cracking down on illegal immigration and enforcing the rule of law. He won the election with this as a cornerstone of his policy. It's high time the Congress of the United States fixed the immigration policies and they should start with enforcement of existing laws. #maga

Lacee Kilat 6 months, 1 week ago

This commentor cannot bother to study the history of undocumented immigration nor learn about people from other countries, so the last line of defense is to scream "rule of law" as if undocumented immigrants are the worst threat to order in this country and Constitutional civil rights shouldn't apply to them.

Executive orders do have the full force of law, based on the authority derived from statute or the Constitution itself. Like both legislative statutes and regulations promulgated by government agencies, executive orders are subject to judicial review and may be overturned if the orders lack support by statute or the Constitution. Trump has used executive orders on numerous occasions himself. Furthermore, there are no known major adverse impacts from DACA on native-born workers, while some economists say that DACA benefits the U.S. economy. There is no evidence that DACA-eligible individuals commit crimes at a higher rate than natives.

While I agree that Congress needs to fix immigration policies, I disagree with the notion that a bunch of regular people, and children, are going to lead us into a "banana republic dictatorship," and I further disagree that our precious law enforcement resources should be diverted to going after these people.

The reporter of this article chose to share a single line of what I said, which is fine. Prior to that I had described being confronted by a woman who told me that I could not possibly care about this country as much as she did because of my heritage. There was also a group that came to my school to give a presentation where they advocated for the deportation of all people who were not fully Caucasian--considered not fully American--including U.S. citizens like me.

Please don't make such rash assumptions. I'm quite capable of forming arguments, and always open to fruitful discussion.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

Help me understand the statute from which DACA is derived. Which statute allows the president to grant amnesty to a group based on the criteria they deem appropriate?

Prior to his DACA EO Obama said he didn't have the autho7to so it and needed congress to act.

Lacee Kilat 6 months, 1 week ago

Very good question! :)

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) actually does not grant amnesty, nor is there a path to citizenship for the people who qualify for the program. This is where Congress needs to act. People across the political spectrum usually agree that children who did not make the active decision to come here should not be punished. (Not to demonize the parents. There are hardships and there are noble reasons for them to come here.) Congress needs to determine where to draw penalties and what legal actions these individuals can take to determine their long-term status.

Article II, Section Three of the Constitution states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Carrying out our immigration laws involves deciding who should be targeted for deportation and who should be allowed to stay. This is mainly to ensure the most efficient use of law enforcement resources, because going after people who pose no threat to society is costly and time-consuming, so they need to determine which people are high priority, such as drug-dealers, human traffickers, and felons. Similarly, Congress has given the executive branch discretion over “the administration and enforcement” of the immigration laws. Indeed, DACA has held up against challenges of constitutionality in court. See here for more info -->

Until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform, DACA is primarily a procedural aspect that allows people to come out of hiding and further maintain their own human rights so they are not vulnerable to exploitation. This is not a long-term solution. However, a simple example of why this is beneficial is that it makes it harder for (un-ethical) employers to exploit workers for unlawful wages, passing over American workers for cheap labor they could otherwise take advantage of with little repercussion. Unfortunately, this does remain an issue for people who remain in hiding unable to raise their voice, and it's harmful to the collective bargaining power of all workers in the U.S. Plus, people should be allowed to report much more severe crimes like murder and rape.

There are a lot of people affected by this. There is no simple solution. Comprehensive immigration reform is a must. But we must never disregard our humanity.

Let me know if you have any more questions!

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

I appreciate your reply and stated something similar in another post. You are correct, technically it is not amnesty, but it is, in my opinion, a temporary amnesty.

However, my main dispute with it is Obama didn't just instruct his agency on where they should focus resources and on the priority assigned to certain classifications of illegal aliens in regards to deportation, he protected a certain group, based on a set of criteria not found in law from deportation. This, in my opinion goes beyond his authority.

Had he said that Dreamers had a low priority for deportation I'd say he was not only acting within his authority, but that the decision was correct. Dreamers pose a minimal risk and our deportation resources should be directed elsewhere.

Lacee Kilat 6 months, 1 week ago

I appreciate a productive discussion without degenerative name-calling. :)

Actually, that document link I shared above is titled "The Department of Homeland Security’s Authority to Prioritize Removal of Certain Aliens Unlawfully Present in the United States and to Defer Removal of Others." So it does include instructions on where to focus resources. It's long and I don't expect you to read its entirety (I haven't either), but that part is there.

DACA does not fully protect people because it is only temporary and does not ensure peace of mind regarding their future. And again, this refers specifically to childhood arrivals, a group that most people should find reasonable and agreeable if they understand DACA--which means that Obama didn't really step on many toes in this instance.

Perhaps you might consider the temporary protection of this group of people as more of a by-product or an exchange. In exchange for temporary protection, which has no major drawbacks for American society, the federal government can accomplish numerous other aims. By establishing this program, dreamers come to us, they submit their own applications. Law enforcement does not need to waste resources tracking them down and then deciding whether to apply discretion. They are already registered and given background checks. And again, there are other benefits, like the one I listed in my above comment.

Ultimately, I do believe that the benefits outweigh the cons of the decision to implement DACA.

Bob Summers 6 months, 1 week ago

This is what happens when Liberals run a society making up laws as they go.

They call the constitution a "living breathing" document.

ANTIFA anyone?

James Stewart 6 months, 1 week ago

I'll take a living breathing document any day. Do you really think that a bunch of guys in the late 18th century had an infallible plan for governing this country centuries later? Do you think they were on some kind of divine mission and that the Bill of Rights are the 10 Commandments? It's a great framework and you can argue all day about what wrong turns may have been made since then but I should think the very fact that they built in the ability to write laws and even adjust the Constitution would imply that even THEY knew updates and changes would be needed.

Out of curiosity, do you get your medical advice from 14th century books on human anatomy? Also, I'll take ANTI-fascist any day over pro-fascist.

Bob Summers 6 months, 1 week ago

And there you have it. Make up rules as you go.


btw Stewart,

The constitution was put together because of people like you. To combat the mindset of the congenital Liberal.

You see. When the Liberal writes laws by the seat of their pants, riots result.


James Stewart 6 months, 1 week ago

The Constitution was put together because we were starting a new country and didn't want to make the same mistakes other countries had. The founders were the liberals. (Look up the term: radicals or revolutionaries would fit better but they were certainly not conservatives.) I'm sure your head must be spinning trying to come up with a way to say that all change is bad when your entire country was founded on it.

Daniel Kennamore 6 months, 1 week ago


Don't bother engaging with Bob. He's got a pretty severe mental condition and it's really just a waste of your time to try to have a rational discussion with him.

James Stewart 6 months, 1 week ago

His most recent non-sequitur certainly supports your point - thanks. I cut bait on these types of discussions when the other party takes them in a circular direction or abandons their original point when they can't support it, usually in favor of an ad hominem attack or a fresh tangent. I'm just cracking up at the notion of "conservative" Founding Fathers fighting against the rising tide of the liberal English Empire, their hippie monarchs (probably propped up by George Soros in some way) and the ultra-liberal churches of the day.

Bob Summers 6 months, 1 week ago

The Constitution was put together because we were starting a new country and didn't want to make the same mistakes other countries had.

Exactly. Thanks for corroborating the fact the constitution was put together to combat the irrational congenital Liberals mindset.

Good job!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 1 week ago

This is a policy, not a law. Obama went as far as he could constitutionally. Congress needs to get off their derrieres and do their job. Actually some of them did their job, instead of attending the all the fund raisers and wrote a law, not even written for them. But the racist do not want these kids to stay in the country at all and become citizens, so it never passed. Let's just be up front, instead of blaming Obama. You want to throw these Dreamers out of the country. Are you willing to make up the lose in taxes that they pay? Are you willing to go do what this Dreamer did? These kids grew up here. They didn't have any choice to come here, they were brought here by their parents. They want to be legal citizens. They have proven their worth to our country. Why do you hate them?

Armen Kurdian 6 months, 1 week ago

Just for once in your life write something w/o calling those you disagree with as racist.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 1 week ago

Just once, I would like to see conservatives not make broad generalizations and inform themselves about the facts. Several comments on here indicated that they know nothing about how DACA works. Many had never heard of the DREAM act or why it didn't pass or why Obama tried to do something about it, without Congresses help, because they wouldn't do anything.

Why don't you try and put yourself in their place for a change. You are brought over to this country by your parents (yes, they came in illegally), you went to school here; you mostly lost your former language; you have never even visited the country you were born in. You consider yourself an American, but you aren't allowed to apply for citizenship. If you went to your birth country, you would be forced to wait 10 years before applying to return.

On NPR, they were talking about a German Dreamer, who is doing every thing right. He even married a US citizens, has a good job, has a child, never broken the law, and wants to be a citizen. But he can't. Are you willing to pay more taxes to make up the taxes he won't be paying if he gets deported? I assume you want this White European deported too? Just want to make sure you aren't racist.

Phillip Chappuie 6 months, 1 week ago

Mr. Stewart, too many of those folks don't need medical advice as they will just put in their god's hands because he had a plan all along. Those who just claim rule of law do so to avoid engaging in critical and rational thinking. Times change and laws change accordingly.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

The Constitution is a living and breathing document. The proof is evident in the fact that the Bill of Rights amending the Constitution were passed before the ink was barely dry on it.

However, there is a specified manner by which changes to the Constitution are made and amending it through legitimate means must be followed. Amending the Constitution by executive order, by judicial decree and just based on the desires of the populace is fraught with danger.

Consider the possibility of Trump changing the courts so they lean more conservative - do you want them making law? Consider Trump making law by EO - do you want that? I don't want either.

An EO must only provide clarity on how to carry out established law. Show me the law that allows a person who came here before they were 16 to be exempt from being deported and so on as specified by DACA?

Show me the law that grants unilateral authority to the president to grant temporary amnesty to a group based on whatever criteria they deem appropriate.

It isn't there, thus Obama created and implemented new law which is beyond the scope and author of the president.

Daniel Kennamore 6 months, 1 week ago


The constitution grants the executive the right to issue orders, and those orders have the full force of any other law. The supreme court has upheld that fact numerous times.

These orders are subject to judicial review, however. If the GOP thought they had a legal case to overturn the order, they should have gone that route.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

Daniel, a president may only issue an EO that is derived from their constitutional or statutory authority. Where in the Constitution or in law is the president authorized to grant amnesty to a group?

Now, it would be in his authority to prioritize an agency's resources to focused on one group over another for deportation, for example violent criminals, drug dealers and other criminals over dreamers, but I am unaware of any law that says the president can grant amnesty based on a set of criteria they deem appropriate.

Can you point out where he has that authority?

As far as the GOP challenging DACA, they didn't do it because, in my opinion, they are spineless weasels who then would have been forced to deal with a political hot potato.

Daniel Kennamore 6 months, 1 week ago

Anyone can start the ball rolling on court challenges.

The fact that the SCOTUS hasn't struck it down in the years since it was signed should clue you in on the fact that your interpretation of how executive orders work is wrong.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

It isn't just my interpretation. Research it for yourself. Show me the law on which it is based. SCOTUS won't strike down on their own. It must be challenged and presented to them for consideration of review.

Also keep in mind that slavery was allowed for years, Jim Crow laws were allowed for years so just because SCOTUS doesn't strike something down doesn't mean it is right or legal.

This gives a good overview.

Daniel Kennamore 6 months, 1 week ago

Show me where the SCOTUS ruled it as unconstitutional.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

Daniel, it hasn't been struck down. I said it in my previous post. You're deflecting because you can't cite a law that gives the president the authority to protect a group from deportation.

I tried to educate you by providing you a link, but you have a point of view and it appears nothing will change it and that is fine. Have a good day.

Daniel Kennamore 6 months, 1 week ago

The Constitution give the president the authority to write EO's that have the full effect of law. This has been upheld by the SCOTUS multiple times.

You can't just undo a couple centuries of precedent because you don't like something.

If it's unconstitutional, it would have been struck down by the courts.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 1 week ago

And that's why he could only do what he did. That's why he couldn't grant them citizenship. Duh. Now let's talk about why you want these law abiding, hard working, tax paying DACA people to pay for their parent's crime?

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

Dorothy, why the childish duh comment? Does it make your argument stronger? A 3rd grader can make a duh comment but adults should be above that immature type of comment.

I don't want them to pay for their parents crime, but I do want our government to enforce immigration laws and under current law they are here illegally. If congress passes a law that allows them to stay then so be it.

I don't expect them to be a high priority in deportation , but they should not be allowed to be here and work unless they comply with proper procedures.

When we allow the law to be ignored, even for reasons with which we agree, then we create a precedent where the law will be ignored for reasons with which we do not agree.

You would be outraged if Trump used his EO to create a special set of standards to which abortion clinics would be held. Thus, we must be principled in our adherence to right and wrong because power is fleeting and you may be on the opposite end of a situation.

Andrew Dufour 6 months, 1 week ago

I don't think I understand your argument Brock, you say you're okay with them being a low priority for deportation, that's effectively all that was done. There are 11mn undocumented immigrants in our coutry. President Obama singled out these immigrants as effectively poor targets for deportation and offered them a level of protection if they come out hiding, register etc.

The executive branch exercises discretion all the time regarding how the laws are enforced, this is just that same discretion being exercised. Prosecutors do it when they drop cases, police do it when the decide not to make an arrest. Further, the executive branch often creates a policy to enfoce the discretion they want their area of the executive branch to follow. Before sentencing guidelines were enacted into law by a lot of states, Judges would enact policy for how to sentence certain crimes so there would be uniformity in sentencing.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

He just didn't them a low priority for deportation, he exempted them from deportation, albeit, temporarily. I do not think he has the ai[uthority to exempt a group based on his own criteria from deportation - make them low priority, but not exempt.

Andrew Dufour 6 months, 1 week ago

Isn't that really a distinction without a difference though. I mean if he says they're a "low priority" nudge nudge wink wink how is that better in your mind? There are 10mn other undocumented immigrants to consider for deportation. I also don't follow how you feel like marking them as a low priority is within his bounds of executive discretion but saying we're going to ignore this group and focus on others is outside the bounds.

I'm genuinely not trying to antagonize I just don't see the difference from a legal or functional standpoint.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

The president is charged with managing the executive branch and defining objectives and focusing resources is within his authority. Creating law is not. Defining dreamers as low priority is managing his agency's objectives and focusing resources but given protection from deportation and the ability to work legally to one group of illegal aliens counter to existing law goes beyond managing the agency. It counters established law and thus creates new law.

That is the difference. Manage the agency - good. Create new law - bad. Regardless of whether the end result is essentially the same. Our elected officials must do the right thing the right way.

Look at our local government and the mess we have with developers because we allow the city commission to bend or ignore the rules. What is the point of having laws if they can be ignored by those trusted to carry them out.

Andrew Dufour 6 months, 1 week ago

I think this is effectively becoming a line drawing exercise and you draw the line at one point for where the executive is "creating law" vs. "executing the law."

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 1 week ago

He exempted them if they do not break the law and are either in school or gainfully employed. Plus they have to pay to register ever year. They are not exempt.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

Okay, I've said enough on this topic, but wanted to acknowledge and thank those who disagreed but did so in a very constructive manner.

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