“ The rule of law is essential to the preservation of our democracy”
KANSAS IMMIGRATION REFORM EFFORT
The Kansas Chamber of Commerce
Amy J. Blankenbiller
President & CEO
From: Immigration Reform Effort, (K.I.R.E.) Barb Nichols, Dir
Dear President Blankenbiller,
K.I.R.E. is a statewide, non-partisan, grassroots citizens group organized for the purpose of pursuing legislation to reformimmigration laws that will protect our citizens from the dire effects of illegal immigration.
The purpose of this letter is to inform the members of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce of our grave concerns regarding the presence of illegal aliens in our state and the resulting devastating effects upon our citizens and our way of life.
I want to emphasize that K.I.R.E. fully supports legal immigration and the contributions made by those who have come here through legal channels and by their hardworking efforts they have become legal and productive members of our society . However, our concern is with those who have sneaked across our borders, bankrupting our health care facilities, overloading our educational systems, taking jobs from our citizens, overwhelming our social benefits and causing our taxes to skyrocket in order to fund all of these affected systems. This is unfair and unacceptable to the citizens of and legal immigrants who have worked hard for everything we have built only to have it destroyed by those who have broken our laws.
On the Kansas Chamber of Commerce website under Human Resources Issues the Chamber states that it will oppose legislation that will increase penalties for employers that unknowingly hire illegal workers and that the Chamber believes that issues involving immigration should be solved at the federal level and should be addressed and fixed in Washington D.C.
We could not disagree more on both counts. First of all, has set in place a free and easy to use, voluntary system called E-Verify whereby employers can, by registering with E-verify, insure that they have made every effort to determine that any new employees they hire are legally authorized to work in the United States . ’s web page, on the “How do I (employer) use E-verify page, states that “while participation in E-verify does not provide protection from worksite enforcement , an employer who verifies work authorization under E-verify is presumed to have not knowingly hired an unauthorized alien.”
In regard to the Chamber’s belief that issues involving immigration should be solved at the federal level, we believe, contradicts the We, the people, have the right to see that our duly elected officials pass laws that protect our lives and property. We must not allow our desire to enhance the bottom dollar of our businesses by hiring cheap labor thereby exposing our citizens to danger and in the process cheating our own citizens out of jobs that illegal aliens will do for less money.to our Constitution which reads “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
As the Director of K.I.R.E. I can assure the Chamber that I have always been and always will be a strong advocate of small business which I believe to be the backbone of our economy. But those of us who are the buyers of the products our businesses sell must not be forgotten in the effort to scratch out a living in this era of high taxes and cumbersome regulations placed upon Kansas businesses.
K.I.R.E. requests the Kansas Chamber of Commerce to change direction and come out in support of SB 458 “The With the states surrounding passing tough legislation or in the process of doing so puts us in a position of being a magnet for illegal aliens fleeing those states. The responsible thing to do is pass tough legislation of our own that will provide for and protect the citizens of this great state.Illegal Immigration Relief Act” to ensure that we Kansans can all enjoy the fruits of our labors.
The following is an excerpt from the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1) (A)(iv)(b)(iii) which addresses hiring or harboring illegal aliens. I also refer you to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the convictions of a retail store owner and his accountant (defendants) who employed illegal aliens in violation of this law. ( United States of America V Khanani, 10th Cir, 90 EPD 42,984
“Any person who….encourages or induces an alien to…reside…knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such….residence is…in violation of law, shall be punished as provided…for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs…fined under title 18..imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”
Section 274 felonies under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, INA 274A(a)(1)(A)
A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government commits a federal felony when she or he:
· assists an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or
· encourages that alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or
by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or
· knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.
Penalties upon conviction include criminal fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles and real property used to commit the crime. Anyone employing or contracting with an illegal alien without verifying his or her work authorization status is guilty of a misdemeanor. Aliens and employers violating immigration laws are subject to arrest, detention, and seizure of their vehicles or property. In addition, individuals or entities who engage in racketeering enterprises that commit (or conspire to commit) immigration-related felonies are subject to private civil suits for treble damages and injunctive relief.
The rule of law is absolutely essential to the preservation of our democracy. To ignore our laws will result in anarchy. It is a fact that Federal laws already exist which forbid the hiring of illegal aliens. The passage of SB 458 will provide a means of protecting the citizens of and help Kansas businesses to stay in compliance with Federal laws.
Again, K.I.R.E. respectfully requests the Kansas Chamber of Commerce to support SB 458.
Thank you for your cooperation on this vitally important issue.