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HB 2372 Raises Its Ugly Racist Head Once Again

By Christopher Renner
Advocacy | March 17, 2011

welcome-to-kansas.jpgTOPEKA, Kan. - This afternoon, Thursday 17 March, in Topeka the House Judiciary Committee is once again going to take up another xenophobic law that the right-wing extremist Kris Kobach is trying to force on the state of Kansas.

Today the Judiciary Committee Chair, the right-wing extremist Rep. Lance Kinzer, is going to force a vote on Kobach's anti-immigration bill HB 2372. Modeled on the now notorious Arizona legislation that Kobach authored, should this legislation pass, Kansas will face spending millions of taxpayer dollars defending legislation that is nothing more than the race laws passed by Nazi Germany.

While I am a fourth generation Kansan, born and raised in Marshall county, from 1982 - 1998 I lived and worked in Italy. The first four years I lived in Italy, I did so as an undocumented worker. Thus I know well what it means to be an immigrant and why HB 2372 is a morally corrupted piece of legislation.

According to the US Census Bureau, the foreign-born share of Kansas' population rose from 2.5 percent in 1990 to 5.9 percent in 2008. More than four in five (or 85%) of children in immigrant families were born in the US. Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add $10 billion and thousands of jobs to the Kansas economy. In 2009 the purchasing power of Hispanic Americans in Kansas totaled $5.2 billion - an increase of 488 percent since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $2.1 billion - an increase of 418 percent. Immigrants comprise 7.3 percent of the Kansas workforce.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, in 2009 roughly 2.8% of the Kansas workforce was undocumented -- meaning they did not possess the papers needed to work here. Research conducted by the Perryman Group found the following: If all undocumented immigrants were removed from Kansas, the state would lose $1.8 BILLION in economic activity; would lose $807 million in gross state product; and, roughly 12,000 jobs.

At a moment when Kansas is facing a catastrophic economic crisis, can we afford to cause this much damage to an already depressed economy?

But moreover the cost of the implementation of the Arizona law which HB 2372 imitates has been disastrous for that state:

New America Media reports that Arizona has lost $141 million due to the cancellation of conferences and conventions, as a result of a national boycott that was launched against the state following its passage of the immigration law SB 1070. Center for American Progress found that some 2,761 jobs were lost in the convention industry while hotels and conference venues have lost $45 million in revenues.

In order to implement the Arizona legislation, the Yuma County Sherriff's estimated the cost to Yuma County law-enforcement agencies to be:

  • Law-enforcement agencies would spend between $775,880 and $1,163,820 in processing expenses;
  • Jail costs would be between $21,195,600 and $96,086,720;
  • Attorney and staff fees would be $810,067-$1.6 million;
  • Additional detention facilities would have to be built at unknown costs.

Where will state and county governments come up with this funding when we have had to cut basic, life-saving services to those living in poverty, the elderly, the mentally ill and those with disabilities and our schools?

Howard Fisher, a reporter for the East Valley Tribune in Arizona, reports that from July to October 2010, SB 1070 cost the state over $1 million in in legal fees with a total budget of over $3.6 million needed to defend the legislation in court. How can Kansas AFFORD SUCH AN EXPENDITURE to advance an fascist xenophobic law?

The great American Henry Wallace in 1942 defined Fascism as the lust for money or power combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make one ruthless in one's use of deceit or violence to attain one ends.

American fascists, such as Kris Kobach, are easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Kobach's anti-immigrant propaganda is designed to challenge democracy. While claiming to be a super-patriot, he aims to destroy every liberty guaranteed by the US and Kansas Constitutions.

Kansas cannot afford to waste taxpayer dollars so one individual can impose his xenophobic fear on our state. I encourage you to stand on the side of the American Dream and our democracy and stand against the "impostures of pretended patriotism" (George Washington).

Judiciary Committee members can be contacted by going to: http://kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/year1/committees/ctte_h_jud_1/


Christopher, I hesitate to call anyone a Fascist or Nazi. I will agree, however, that the extreme right are bent on economic policies that gives economic power to the wealthy. The extreme right agenda favors the white European ancestory and Christian identity. It is quite evident that they have little regard for the poor and ethnic minorities. They have little trouble with walking over the 1st amendment that denies religious favor or affiliation by the government.

I agree we cannot afford this kind of bill. I've written about Kris Kobach also and it is obvious he doesn't like immigrants. This has become a national trend. Think about the fear of Asians in California or the Irish in New York 100 years ago. These people contribute to our society and yet we fear them. It's estimated that eventually Americans of European ancestry won't be the majority of people in this country. That fact is reported like it is a bad thing. Diversity is good for the country, but people like Kris Kobach don't like the idea of the white, Christian American not having the power. He rode a huge wave into office. I don't think he'll get reelected. Anyway, great post. I really enjoyed it.

Wrong, wrong wrong. This article is WAY over the line comparing laws that reqire identification of illegals to putting people in concentration camps. Go to elderly Jews and ask them if you dont believe me.

Christopher. What we have is the government of Mexico dumping its problems on us. If they are poor and want a better life they are encouraged to move here - as long as they send money back home. We are then forced to provide their kids free education, health care, and the infrastructure required to live here (sewage treatment plants, water, electricity, heat, roads, etc...). As for jobs I know people in construction who've been put out of work by their competitors hiring lower wage illegals.

Maybe your local school district doesnt have loads of these kids in it but its a problem here in Kansas City.

How about instead of griping about Kobach, you propose a better way to deal with the issue.

Ken; can you give us an example of just who “they” are in the extreme right-wing with some familiar names (and Please don’t say The Tea Party)? And, can you give us an example of an “extreme,” cold-hearted, right-wing agenda (and Please don’t mention legislation aimed at addressing ILLEGAL immigration)?

Brad, I would say we should provide their kids with education and healthcare. That's what this country is about. Yes, the problems in Mexico are being put on us, but that is because we are a land of opportunity. I live in Olathe and there is a large Hispanic population here. I'm glad we provide for them. It is true that Olathe like other Johnson County towns has the money to do it.

The real problem with Kris Kobach is not this one bill, but that he has a history of anti-immigrant views. He was elected on a claim that he would go after voter fraud, while state officials said voter fraud wasn't a large issue.

Jonathan, the extreme right wing is (to use some familiar names) Kris Kobach, Jan Brewer, and Michelle Bachmann, Especially at the national level, politicians are fanning the flames of xenophobia. A great number of people don't buy into it. I assume you're one of them, because you are willing to make a case for your point of view. I know people (and unfortunately I think they make up the majority) who aren't willing to do that. If you disagree with them then they refuse to reply. They are people on both sides like this. The Tea Party, and their favorite politicians are in the spotlight now. Those people are easily manipulated by those with power, whether it be the Koch Brothers or George Soros.

Anyway I got off on a rant here, but this article provides a starting point for an important debate, and it is one that we should continue.

Boehner, Walker, Brownback, Koch, Kline, Jonathon, majority leadership in the house, minority leadership in the senate, Beck, Limbaugh; how many do you need?

No funds for: birth control, family planning, single mothers, disabled, unemployeed, mentally impaired, education, medicaid, nutrition — — —

I'm sorry, but the vocal tea party reps and many of the evangelical moral majority spokesmen — are pushing for tax relief of the wealthy, de-regulation of business ethics, homophobia,  —

I don't think you have any problem identifying the extreme advocates of either side of the political aisle, nor any question about their general philosophy.

Jonathan--You asked for names...Mr Poland gave you some names of supporters of extreme right wing agendas. Not everything right of center is extreme (and he made no such claim.) For instance, the former governor (and my first cousin, once removed) Mark Parkinson...before he became the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and later became Governor, he had been the former head of the Kansas Republican Party, and was a former member of the State Senate and was elected as a Republican. Many of his views are right of center, but most were centrist. Not an extremist, but I doubt that you would claim him to be a conservative, although a life-long Republican--'til the Republicans chased him away with their extremist views on abortion, evolution, science, and knowledge in general. Ronald Reagan, Dick Nixon, or Dwight Eisenhower could not survive a Republican primary election if it was held today--conservatiives all...republicans all...but in today's climate...not conservative enough--all would be considered RINOs.

Jonathan, I slipped your name into my list to see what your reaction would be. By all indications of your comments, you are certainly far to the right of center.

I'm admittedly far to the left. But, there is a difference in extreme radical positions. I am liberal in the popular and broad definition of liberal. But, it may surprise you to know that you and I could compare our moral standards and find we are very close. Difference being, I don't demand you to live by my standards. I don't think civil government should dictate sexual morality and definitions.

I have a very difficult time trying to reconcile the fundamental conservative Christian right's economic policies with New Testament record of Jesus examples and teaching. However, I don't seek civil government endorsement of my religious interpretations. My concerns for the welfare of all humanity is very much influenced by my theology, but as far as government intervention and policy, what is fair for one is fair for all. My theology is not protected by government decree supporting that theology. My tax dollars should not be used to enforce your theological canons and your tax dollars should not be used to enforce mine. But OUR tax dollars should be used for the welfare of humanity, regardless of their theology or there economic position.

I think the word “extreme” needs to be put into perspective here with some examples.

Extremism: The totalitarian and murderous regimes of Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Gaddafi; Sharia Law; Fascism; Communism; “convenience” abortion, “late-term” abortion, and leftist doctors who profit from it; anti-abortion violence orchestrated by the Army of God; Woodrow Wilson’s Sedition Act of 1918 that imprisoned thousands; and Weather Underground co-founder William C. “Bill” Ayers, and the fact that he is still walking the streets out of prison.

Far Left: George Soros; Barack Obama and all of his Czars; Keith Olbermann; Bill Maher; single-payer health care; Cap and Trade legislation; the progressive income tax; Van Jones; ACORN; and “Ken.”

Far Right: strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence; a “flat” or “fair” tax system; the overturning of Roe v. Wade; a strong national defense; Beck, Limbaugh, Levin, the Heritage Foundation; and “me.”

Jonathan- I wouldn't disagree with all you said.

Far-Left: Bill Maher, George Soros, Keith Olbermann. Okay My only real objection is that the Far-Right wants strict adherence to the Constitution. As for the Bill of Rights they want nothing of it and are very willing to mention that it is not binding law. \

Strict adherence to the Constitution is something that is very much up for debate and has been since the day it was ratified. Those who wrote the Declaration, the Constitution and the Federalist papers never agreed fully on what they meant. This is exactly what I wrote today. We must have these discussions, but we can never claim to know what they meant. I do wish to give you credit for admonishing anti-abortion violence. I guess my point is, express your view not the views of those who can't reply.

WOW, I need to clarify myself. When I said "Bill of Rights" I meant "Declaration of Independence." The Bill of Rights is absolutely binding law.

Matt, "The Bill of Rights is absolutely binding law." We think that but there are those who take issue with semantics and original meaning.

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