Rewarding Illegal Immigration in Kansas
|A bill sponsored by Rep. Becky Hutchins, R-Holton, to reverse illegal immigrant in-state tuition at state universities and colleges looked like it would pass the Federal and State Affairs Committee by a vote of 12-10. According to Hutchins, it was defeated by the Chairman John Edmonds, R-Great Bend, when he reneged on an agreement and tied the vote at 11-11.|
"I'm surprised. I had the chairman's word that if there was a tie vote he would vote to support it," Hutchins was quoted by the AP. "How good is anyone's word?" The AP piece further reported, “Edmonds later said he didn't want to force colleagues in the House to face the politically difficult choice of voting to keep the law in place.”
Obviously there are two issues here. The bill sought to rectify an important issue. Mr. Edmunds has some real explaining to do on this one. Did he break a promise to Hutchins, pulling a Barack Obama act? Since when is it his job to spare his colleagues from being able to vote on an issue they and their constituents care about? There is a whiff here of something that needs to be investigated further. Public policy is too important to be decided by shenanigans and transparent nonsense.
As for the issue itself there are three reasons the repeal still needs to be pursued.
First, there is the small matter of enforcing immigration laws and not rewarding law breakers. Just because someone has succeeded in breaking the law does not entitle them to subsidies.
Second, it violates a 1996 federal law providing that, if a state allows in-state tuition rates at its public colleges and universities to its resident illegal aliens, it must also permit in-state tuition for citizens and legal residents of other states.
Third, it encourages more illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants for the most part come here due to economic incentives. Adding to those incentives just makes an already out of control problem worse.
We need as a nation to get serious about halting illegal immigration. The costs are enormous. It is at least 36 billion in federal services alone. Every state pays the lion's share of the cost, such as California where the cost is put at 10.5 billion. No one even knows the total when one adds health care, prisons, education, drug trafficking, other crime, unpaid taxes, and a myriad of other costs. Estimates range from 130 billion to 400 billion. The number is certainly staggering.
Beyond the fiscal issues, the crime, and the overburdening of service providers, a total lack of control of our own borders makes the term “homeland security” a joke.
The Kansas tuition law is a part of one of the most serious problems we have, and our legislature continuing to make it worse should not be tolerated. Kerry Healey, lieutenant governor of Massachusetts put it well concerning that state's debate on the same issue.
“America continues to be a beacon of freedom and opportunity, welcoming people from around the world. We are all the sons and daughters of immigrants who came here to realize the American dream, but we must insist that immigrants follow the law and immigrate legally. Similarly, elected officials must be reminded, too, that we all took an oath to protect and uphold the Constitution and the law of the land. To do less would be a violation of that oath.”