Politics & Government

Kansas House GOP split stalls immigration proposals

TOPEKA — Proposals for cracking down on illegal immigration in Kansas are foundering because of a split among majority Republicans in the state House.

But House GOP leaders were under pressure Wednesday to get legislation moving.

House Speaker Mike O’Neal, of Hutchinson, told fellow Republicans during a caucus meeting that he’d prefer to avoid a debate on immigration because it would be divisive.

Some conservatives want the House to debate proposals favored by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who helped draft tough immigration laws in Alabama and Arizona. Some rural Republicans back a proposal from influential business groups to create a program to place some illegal immigrants in hard-to-fill jobs in agriculture and other industries.

Bills taking both approaches have stalled in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.