Kansas Liberty.com, a web news organization reports Representive Lance Kinzer is preparing a illegal immigration bill for the 2009 legislative session. The bill will focus on eliminating in-state tuition for illegal aliens and require law enforcement to verify citizenship of arrested individuals. Kire endorses this legislation.
Kansas Liberty: 29 December 2008
Bill would include an end to in-state tuition breaks for illegal aliens.
Tactics will change, but goals of immigration reform advocates remain the same
Rep. Lance Kinzer, the Olathe Republican who sponsored a comprehensive immigration reform bill that failed to make it through the 2008 Legislature, said lessons learned during that campaign will guide his latest effort to crack down on illegal immigration.
Kinzer, the newly appointed chair of the House Judiciary Committee, told Kansas Liberty Monday that he may have over-reached in attempting to pass the comprehensive reform package and that he would attempt an incremental approach after the Legislature convenes in January.
He said a more limited bill might have a higher likelihood of success, thus building momentum that could be a springboard for other legislative initiatives in the coming session and beyond.
“Getting something is better than nothing, and I didn’t think, tactically speaking, that fighting last year’s battle all over again was the way to go,” Kinzer said.
He pointed out that a California bill that would have ended in-state tuition for illegal immigrants passed constitutional muster before a state appeals court earlier this year. Outgoing Kansas GOP Chair Kris Kobach was among lawyers who argued in favor of the bill’s constitutionality. Kobach is assisting in crafting the bill Kinzer plans to introduce.
Given the state’s dire budget situation, Kinzer said he was purposely attempting to draft a bill that would have little impact on the state’s bottom line.
The bill will be partly defined by what it does not include. Last year’s bill, for example, included a provision that would have compelled small businesses to verify a prospective employee’s citizenship. The bill also included penalties for businesses that hired illegal immigrants. Both provisions were generally opposed by business advocates.
Kinzer said he continued to believe those provisions were needed but that he didn’t want to see a new bill bogged down over the same conflict.
Kinzer said he was unsure at this point whether he would seek House co-sponsors and introduce a bill personally, or whether he would seek to have the bill initiated by the House Judiciary Committee.
“I haven’t made a final determination on how to proceed,” Kinzer said.
He said he would circulate a draft of the bill to House and Senate colleagues before introducing it.
– Phil LaCerte