Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Laws on Illegal Immigration in Kansas Show the Hard Road Republicans Need to Travel

A Huge Divide Between the Leadership (Occasionally Rational) and the Base (Total Irrational)

Kansas is considering changing its laws with respect to illegal immigrants working in the state, and the process is not going well.

A coalition of powerful business groups, including the Farm Bureau and the conservative Kansas Chamber of Commerce, is proposing a guest-worker program that would turn the state into one of the most welcoming in the country for undocumented immigrants. Backing the effort are national conservatives, local faith groups and a number of law-enforcement officials.

Well that definitely sounds good, what’s the problem.  Oh. 

Associated Press
Secretary of State Kris Kobach wants to crack down on illegal workers.
(So far he is silent on shooting them like feral hogs.)

But lined up against them is Kansas' ambitious Republican secretary of state, Kris Kobach, who is promoting a series of measures in the legislature to crack down on illegal workers and their employers.

An adviser to Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign, Mr. Kobach became a national lightning-rod after he helped draft tough immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama, the first of which sparked a Supreme Court brawl for the Obama administration.

Mr. Kobach calls the business coalition's plan "dead on arrival" and has the support of a large faction within the GOP-dominated Kansas legislature, which is expected to wade into the immigration fight this spring.

And what about Kansas’s ultra-conservative Governor.  He’s looking to run away from the issue as fast as he can.

Caught in the middle, and wishing it would all go away, is Gov. Sam Brownback, who earned a reputation while in the U.S. Senate as one of the GOP's leading advocates for immigrant rights. Now he wants nothing to distract from his overarching goals of cutting taxes and government spending.

So all that talk by Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep.Paul Ryan about making the Republican party more conducive to immigrants.  Well, the following sorta sums up the problem.

Predicting where the debate will go is tricky. Last year, Republicans buried the issue after one GOP member said at a hearing that illegal immigrants should be shot "like feral hogs." 

Yeah, sorry Republicans, look like you still have a ways to go.

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