Kansas Leaders Call For Bipartisan Immigration Solutions

April 3, 2013

KANSAS CITY, KAN. — At a roundtable discussion on immigration today, Kansan faith, business, and law enforcement leaders spoke about the importance of immigrants to the state’s economy and the urgency of immigration reform for Kansas’ diverse communities.

With members of Congress home over the Easter recess, Kansan leaders relied on their expertise on law enforcement, faith and the economy to highlight the need for immigration solutions nationally and call on their representatives in Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform. They also spoke with attendees about the importance of mobilizing to push for a just and responsible immigration solution as the debate moves forward in Congress.

The following quotes can be attributed to today’s event participants:

Allie Devine, Devine & Donley, LLC; Former Kansas Agriculture Secretary:

“Congress needs to address immigration issues. The states are not the appropriate forum to implement immigration policy. We need a national solution and we need it soon.”

Father Mark Mertes, Blessed Sacrament Church:

“We will all benefit by working together to affirm our basic instinct as Americans, that is, to welcome our neighbor who wants to adopt and celebrate our values.”

Mike O’Neal, President and CEO, Kansas Chamber of Commerce; Former Speaker, Kansas House of Representatives:

“This is far more complicated and economically important than simply ‘What part of illegal don’t you understand?’ Folks who say that have no idea or appreciation of the historic and present-day importance of the immigrant worker to this state and this nation. A well-crafted and targeted worker program, coupled with an effective border protection policy, offers the best hope of a ‘win-win’ strategy.”

Rev. Jason Schoff, Mission Adelante:

“The ways we see immigrants and our immigration laws ought to be informed by the full message of the Bible. God clearly is concerned with the immigrant living among us.”

Robert T. Stephan, Former Kansas Attorney General

“My experience was not the same as that of undocumented immigrants today, but the same desire for opportunity and freedom that my family sought and found is also their goal.  They deserve respect and the enactment of laws that allow them to share in the American dream.”