Immigration – As shown in our local population, the vast majority of immigrants – regardless of their documentation – are hard-working and simply trying to make a living. Many have been difference-makers for employers with hard-to-fill jobs. Lawmakers should acknowledge those economic realities evident in southwest Kansas and beyond. This region’s experience also is proof that the answer isn’t in heavy-handed tactics that pull families apart. Comprehensive reform that blends controls on immigration with strategies to address labor needs makes more sense.
Garden City Telegram
Kobach – There are more than 15,000 tax-paying Kansas citizens who cannot vote because of the overly stringent state laws requiring they prove their citizenship. These Kansans registered under the federal guidelines, which have worked just fine for decades throughout the country. In Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s attempt to stop one illegal vote, he’s devalued the rights of more than 15,000 legal voters. It seems not to matter to him.
Hays Daily News
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Huelskamp – U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, apparently hasn’t heard the old adage, “You’re entitled to your own opinions but not to your own facts.” As the congressman from District 1 makes his way from town hall to town hall, he apparently is carrying with him a list of complaints, issues and facts that exist as truth only in his mind. Huelskamp discredits himself and his positions – and performs a disservice to his constituents – by spreading as fact half-truths and misleading information that serve only to create anger, distrust and angst.
Tech ed – The list of government programs that failed, for one reason or another, to deliver the desired results is too long to reproduce here, but it is safe to say a state initiative designed to introduce more high school students to the offerings of technical schools won’t be found on it. The number of high school students enrolled at Kansas’ community and technical colleges increased by 50 percent during the first year of the program, championed by Gov. Sam Brownback. More enrollment growth is expected this year. Granted, the offer of free tuition – actually paid by the state – is a major incentive for participating students, but the program is working as it was designed to do, and the $12 million the state spent on tuition last year appears to be a sound investment in the future of the students and the state.
Drones – Of all the matters and issues of consequence that the Lawrence City Commission might need to tackle, a drone policy may be least likely to rise to the top of the list. A group of local organizations is intent on making Lawrence one of the first cities in the nation to pass an ordinance limiting the ability of police or other city departments to use drones. If, at a future date, these devices seem to be needed for some legitimate purpose in Lawrence, then certainly a policy should be developed in the context of the time that’s pertinent to the intended use, providing appropriate guidelines and limitations. Absent that set of facts, this is not a situation calling on Lawrence for national leadership.