The Star asked:
Will you vote for legislation next year allowing law enforcement in Kansas to check a person's citizenship status if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person could be in the U.S. illegally?
The feds are not doing their job so we must enforce the law.
|James A. Walker Jr.||Yes|
Would have to be comfortable that rights against unreasonable searches or seizures are in place. The federal government must step up, do its job and enforce our immigration laws. The federal agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement-â€œICEâ€ does not assist local governments and law enforcement in any meaningful way in dealing with the immigration problem. Some states are feeling the pressure to act since the federal government appears unwilling to address the illegal immigration problem. There are significant social and real costs for states and their citizens with the illegal immigrant problem. Carefully drafted, constitutional legislation at the state level to fill the void due to the federal government's absence in solving the issue should be seriously considered. I would prefer we not work immigration enforcement at the state level, but we may have no choice if the federal government abdicates its responsibility.
It is unfair to legal people for illegals to be here.
I would have no problem with requiring every citizen to have a U.S. Citizenship Identification Card to be presented upon the reasonable request of a Federal, State, or Municipal Law Enforcement Officer.
|Chiquita C. Coggs||
If a person is stopped for a routine or other traffic violation, or is in a vehicle that has been stopped for a routine or other traffic violation, and there is a reasonable suspicion that the person could be in the U.S. illegally, we may be able to save some of our taxpayer dollars, prevent hostile attacks by terrorists, and help people in their quest to gain legal citizenship by checking for that personâ€™s or those personsâ€™ citizenship status.
I am a child and grandchild of immigrants who came to this country from Italy, Greece and Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. So I take a back seat to no one in my admiration and respect for the foreign-born immigrants of all nations and cultures who, like my ancestors, came here legally, assimilated and contributed so much to our country's strength, freedom, diversity, and economic prosperity.
But they came here legally; that is the key. As stated in my answer to the previous question, as a retired Federal judge, one of the centerpieces of my campaign is my strong stand on enforcement of the rule of law in our State and nation. Nowhere is this principle more vital now, when our country is fighting a war against international terrorism, than in enforcing our nation's immigration laws and securing our borders.
While much of this work must be accomplished at the federal level, the federal government is failing in its duty to protect our citizens by securing our borders. As a result, among other things, border states like California are facing budget crises, and even possible bankruptcy, because of the crushing burden of providing a myriad of taxpayer-funded benefits, including health care, to illegal immigrants; hospitals in border states are going out of business by the droves, bankrupted because of mandates to provide free medical, surgical and emergency room care to illegal immigrants; fully one-third of the felons in our nation's prisons are illegal immigrants; Phoenix now has the highest kidnapping rate in the nation; violence against U.S. citizens in border states like Arizona and destruction of their property has soared; and international terrorists have found far too easy a path of entry into the United States, not just over the Mexican border, but the Canadian border as well.
A sovereign nation that doesn't secure its borders has no borders. And a sovereign nation with no borders will not long remain a sovereign nation. As in Arizona, we in Kansas can do our part to aid and assist federal immigration and law enforcement officials in securing our borders by enacting carefully crafted legislation, mirroring federal laws already on the books, granting state and local law enforcement officials the same legal authority that federal officials have to ask those they legally stop, detain, arrest or question for legitimate law enforcement purposes to produce proof of citizenship or legal resident alien status. Such procedures, requiring a legal stop, detention or arrest for purposes unrelated to questioning on citizenship status, before such questioning ensues, protects against racial profiling or other unconstitutional or illegal conduct by state or local officials.
When I travled abroad recently, I was required to show my passport numerous times, and for a variety of purposes, in every nation I visited. I routinely have to produce my proof of citizenship for many activities and purposes here at home. Why should we expect less of those from other countries who come here? We have a duty to protect the safety and security of our citizens that demands no less.
Current federal law requires those visiting our country to carry their documentation on their person at all times. The recent law adopted in Arizona mirrors the federal law and prohibits profiling. Kansas law should do the same. Profiling will not be tolerated.
|Wayne E. Hodges||
Absolutely. As long as reasonable suspicion exists. Racial profiling/discrimination should be prohibited at all times. Illegally residency in the United States is already a law. I believe proper enforcement should be encouraged.
It is law enforcements responsibility to enforce the law and our immigration laws do need to be enforced. I would be concerned about racial profiling and harassment of citizens. A solution may be to limit these checks to serious crimes and not minor traffic violations.
But there will have to be reasonable cause, like suspicion of a crime. Otherwise, there will be an accusation of profiling. The legislature has passed policy concerning profiling with respect to traffic violations, and the Human Rights Commission has established rules and procedures for safety officers to follow.
I would support legislation consistent with the recently passed Arizona statute and have in fact introduced similar legislation in the past. In particular, I have introduced and/or supported legislation that would restrict the receipt of public benefit by those not lawfully present in the United States; require more stringent "proof of citizenship" for voting; enhance penalties against employers who knowingly hire unauthorized aliens; encourage State and local law enforcement to support the enforcement of federal immigration law; and many similar proposals.
|Jana Taylor Goodman||Yes|
I agree with the Supreme Court that law enforcement should not be allowed to pull over or detain someone solely on a suspicion of someone's residency status, but would be ok with the part of the law upheld by the Court allowing a check of citizenship status if someone is arrested or detained on another matter.
I would support a law that mirrors the federal law. With the federal government continuing to abdicate its responsibility in enforcement of immigration law, it is up to the state to fill the void.
The policy of reasonable suspicion applies across virtually all aspects of law enforcement, and to be consistent, it should apply to those expected to be in the US illegally.
Reasonable suspicion is what law enforcement use every day to do their jobs. Why suspend it here?
While the federal government is not enforcing the law, we ought to do what we can
I believe that Kansas should not promote illegal residency. However, we must ensure the law is constitutional.
I believe that until the federal government satisfactorily deals with the issue of illegal immigration I believe the state of Kansas has to use whatever measures possible to restrict illegal immigration and encourage legal immigration. 2
|Robert J. McElwain||Yes|
This should be allowed anyway under current laws. It is reasonable that if an officer suspects someone is not here legally that they can require a person to prove that they are. This is no different than requiring a person to show their driver's license or car's registration at a traffic stop. This is proving to the officer that the person is allowed to drive and is carrying insurance. The only difference is that instead of proving that they are allowed to drive, they are proving that they are allowed to be here.
This is current law and is done now. The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that this is a legal and constitutional practice.
As long as the state has in place a means of identifying them as an illegal alien within ten minutes. I think it would be wrong to detain an individual for any length of time without clear evidence of their being an illegal alien.
Illegal aliens cost us millions of dollars in social services and job loss for US citizens. I would be happy to present my passport to authorities. I have lived in Germany for seven years because of my husband's military service. I assure you, all the European nations do this.
If an individual is pulled over for a traffic violation and can provide no driver's license, proof of insurance, or any type of idenification that all US citizens are required to have when driving, then law enforcement should have the ability to check the status of that individual. If the individual is a US citizen, they should be appropriately fined for driving without their license and insurance information. If it is discovered that person is here illegally, then that person should be directed to federal authorities.
It is clear that the federal government is not doin their job in this regard. However, it should only be done in a manner that does not violate the rights of American citizens.
At the time of me writing this, the US Supreme Court has not handed down it's decision in the case challenging the Arizona law SB 1070. I expect the US Supreme Court to uphold the law, but if it strikes it down I believe Kansas should keep it's own laws in accordance with the ruling.
This question was recently decided by the US Supreme court and isn’t a pressing issue in Kansas or my district
Yes. The federal government’s ability to address illegal immigration issues is inadequate. Kansas has been forced into a situation that requires us to address this issue at our level. Such a bill would need to be carefully drafted to ensure that unlawful searches, seizures, and detainment were not being sanctioned by the state.
Until the court case against Arizona is settled, it seems unwise to put the state in the situation for an extensive legal battle.
I would have to see what the bill stated and how this would be implemented. I would also want to know if our officers across the State of Kansas could realistically handle this issue within our current workforce. While this is an important issue, our cities and counties are having serious budget issues that would be impacted by this legislation and need to be a part of the conversation.
Immigration is a Federal issue, and not one of the State.
Although it seems to me that Kansas law enforcement officials have the power to check a person's citizenship if the person has broken the law or the officer suspects a law is or has been broken, I am uncomfortable with officers having the authority to check everyone and anyone for citizenship proof. In our community we host many international officers and their families. I'm afraid those wonderful guests of our country who are attending the Army Command and General Staff College at the Fort would be inconvenienced or worse by such a law.
Not unless they have committed a crime. From an economic standpoint alone, our system in Kansas does not have the capability to enforce such a law at this time.
The Arizona law has been overturned by the Supreme Court. Why spend taxpayer money to enact and then defend an unconstitutional and, frankly, unamerican, law?
Again, we have an illegal immigrant problem no doubt. But, without the federal government cooperation what would this accomplish? We could stop them and turn them over to the federal agents who will continue to do nothing with the information. Unless and until the federal goverment is willing to tackle this problem by taking action when they are told of illegal immigrants, we would just be creating an expensive revolving door, a sort of catch and release for human beings. I did vote to make sure that businesses would sign on to e-verify to check citizenship before hiring but it didn't pass.
Without seeing the specifics of such a bill I cannot make a determination
The issue of illegal immigration and/or a person's citizenship is a major federal responsibility.
I think it is dangerous expansion of the police powers of the state. It would lead to profiling and a requirement that citizens carry proof of citizenship at all times.
This could lead to abuse by law enforcement. The proponents of this should name it the DWH Law(Driving While Hispanic).
The Supreme Court struck down parts of the Arizona law and left in place checking citizenship status with a "wait-and-see" approach, saying this measure could be challenged “as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.” Kansas should adopt the same wait-and-see strategy and enact better immigration laws such as cracking down on corporations that hire illegal immigrants.
In the absence of a definition of reasonable suspicion, all people would need to be informed about documentation needed to establish legal status. Upon observation by a law enforcement officer of abnormal behavior (DUI) or violation of a law, everyone would be checked.
The Department of Justice has just challenged this in federal court so I would not support action on this until the challenge is resolved.
My conversations with local law enforcement have indicated that local law enforcement does not have the resources to take on enforcement of immigration policy; they do not have enough officers or detention facilities. In addition, such enforcement requirements would strain relationships with legal minority groups.
This law was introduced in the past session of the legislature and few supported it. The Arizona law is being challenged in court. We have a law in place that puts the responsibility on business who hire those who are here illegally.
Our law enforcement agencies are already strapped trying to do more with less. By expanding their scope of work, we can be assured that their ability to perform other crucial duties will suffer.
Until someone can explain to me what “reasonable suspicion” is without resorting to stereo types, racial profiling, discrimination, or violating civil rights, I would be unable to support that. Today’s (6/25/12) Supreme Court ruling on this question struck down all most all of Arizona’s law regarding what the State was able to do. The court ruling said that an officer can stop someone they believe is here illegally, but the officer would have no grounds to arrest or detain them since this is a Federal matter of immigration enforcement
Although I do not support illegal immigration and am as frustrated as anyone about our broken immigration system which has not been seriously addressed since President Reaganâ€™s Administration in 1986, I am skeptical of this type of provision and fear it would be like putting a Band-Aid on a huge wound that requires major surgery. Fixing this broken immigration system is under federal jurisdiction and theyâ€™re the ones who need to do the major surgery. In addition, law enforcement opposes to this type of law. I believe the best step we can take at the state level to reduce illegal immigration is to require employers to use the â€œE-Verifyâ€ System which has been proven to be around 90% effective in identifying legal immigrants seeking employment. Employers who refuse to take steps to enhance their ability to hire legal immigrants should be penalized as they are taking unfair advantage, to the detriment of their competitors who do follow the law. Illegal immigration is motivated more by the possibility of employment than any other factor.
Law enforcement officials in Arizona and nationwide oppose this and similar legislation. We should instead crack down on those businesses that hire undocumented workers to exploit the cheap labor they provide. Besides, what constitutes a â€œreasonable suspicionâ€, the color of their skin? That would constitute racial profiling. Local and state enforcement of immigration laws undermines community policing and increases the underreporting of crimes, especially in domestic violence. Enforcing federal immigration law takes resources away from enforcing laws against crimes, diverting the attention of our law enforcement from the safety of our communities. Passing a law similar to what Arizona has done would invite boycotts of Kansas businesses and lawsuits against the state. Citizens would be required to have in their possession papers proving citizenship at all times, papers they may not possess. It would akin to living in a totalitarian police state.
It depends on the definition of â€œreasonable suspicionâ€. If someone is breaking the law, then citizenship papers could be checked. However, if â€œreasonable suspicionâ€ is defined as a law-abiding person not having a fair complexionâ€”in other words racial profiling, then I would not support it. Law enforcement officers do not support this and I wish to support our law enforcement personnel. Law enforcement officers have enough to do without spending time taking away from their normal duties to pursue citizenship status.
I support a comprehensive national immigration policy that doesn't provide another unfundated mandate to local law enforcement agencies burdening them with immigration control.
I do not agree with the legality or appropriateness of the recent Arizona law SB 1070 and would not want to see the State of Kansas follow suit.
This would just encourage more racial profiling.
|Kathy Wolfe Moore||
I believe this could lead to profiling and place law enforcement officials in difficult positions.
No, this is too much like racial profiling. We are trying to make the racial profiling legislation more concise at this time. We do not need to add more pressures for the law enforcement community nor do we need more pressures on the minority community. This type of legislation would onlly harm any semblance of trying to have positive community relations between minority population and law enforcement community.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the federal immigration system is broken, and work should be done on the national level to allow individuals to enter our country legally, while stopping the influx of undocumented workers and deporting those who’ve committed additional crimes while in America. That being said, I have some reservations that these laws may go beyond reasonable efforts to strengthen the system. Additionally, as these measures are currently being challenged in the courts, it is prudent to know the outcome before investing any state resources.
I think that this could result in racial profiling.
My experience with local law enforcement as an 11 year City Council member tells me that local law enforcement already is spread thin. If there is a crime committed or the investigation of a crime is underway, then by all means checking a persons citizenship is valid, but our law enforcement officials have enough to do without being tasked with enforcing Federal Immigration Law.
I have too many problems with words like ... check ... reasonable ... illegal.
Until Arizona has figured out what they are doing Kansas has more pressing public safety issues.
This is a misguided attempt to attack the effect of the problem and not the cause.
Again the immigration issue needs to be resolved at the federal level and any time we spend talking about it in the Kansas legislature is a waste.
|Jeffrey S. Caldwell II||
This is an infringement upon personal property, racial profiling, and places an astronomical burden on the shoulders of law enforcement. A person should not have to prove citizenship unless they are applying for a job, voting, or committed a crime.
In the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on this issue, the justices upheld such a provision in Arizona for the time being, but they also found that it is not clear whether that state is superseding or upholding federal policy on immigration. I am apprehensive that this law might be enforced in a discriminatory manner, and therefore would prefer to see how it plays how in Arizona before voting for such a measure in this next legislative session.
This law would invite abuse and controversy over what constitutes reasonable suspicion. I would favor the current law as is.
Immigration is federal issue. Local law enforcement agencies should be focused on crime prevention not acting as border guards.
What is a "reasonable suspicion"? It will typically be visual appearance, that is, racial profiling.
The original Arizona law that helped instigate such copycat laws was overturned by the Supreme Court because the “Rule of Naturalization” is solely the responsibility of the Federal Government.
The enforcement of our immigration laws should be left to the INS. I do not believe that immigration is within the jurisdiction of any other law enforcement agency. If a crime is committed and the only witness is an illegal immigrant, we need that immigrant to feel comfortable talking with law enforcement to ensure that justice will be carried out for crimes committed within the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies outside of the INS.
|Thomas (Tim) Owens||
This is a federal issue until the federal government relinquishes that jurisdiction to the states. While I do not condone illegal status, the failure of the federal government should not become an unfunded financial obligation on the states. What will law enforcement at the state level do, if they determine an individual is illegal but they have no jurisdication? Such a law could lead to racial or ethnic discrimination and I do not support discrimination in a free society.
I would only support such a law if it’s a legitimate check where a crime is involved, but not as a stand-alone law.
I believe these "show me your papers" laws authored and promoted by Kris Kobach are unnecessary and could lead to racial profiling.
My concern is that these types of laws could lead to racial profiling, could result in a trampling on the rights of Kansas citizens, and could lead to costly law suits.