We commend U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall for his views on immigration policy.
During an appearance last week at the Pachyderm Club in Wichita, Marshall showed his thinking on the topic goes beyond the knee-jerk reaction many have to immigration issues. And he showed an understanding of how a less thoughtful approach to immigration could harm Kansas and its farm economy.
Make no mistake: None of this means Marshall is soft on illegal immigration. It simply means he understands reality.
Marshall believes immigration policies should be reformed and that those who come to Kansas to work should be documented. He believes our borders must be secure. We agree.
But Marshall knows the system itself has promoted the problem of undocumented workers. He said three-fourths of undocumented immigrants came to the country with the proper documentation, but do not keep their work visas up to date because the process is too onerous or the number of work visas is too low.
Marshall said the work visa program is set up for seasonal workers, but much of the Kansas farm economy requires year-round workers. This is especially evident in Marshall’s 1st District, which takes in the western part of the state.
President Donald Trump believes building a wall along the Mexican border is the key to solving immigration issues. While a wall might make a statement, and an expensive one at that, we don’t believe it will address the issues highlighted by Marshall.
Marshall said people familiar with border security have told him increased use of electronic surveillance would be more effective in securing our borders.
We believe such measures, along with revision of policies and procedures that act as roadblocks for documented workers, offer a constructive path forward. We hope Marshall can make his voice heard in Washington. It is a voice of reason.