Immigration issues are on the agenda as state lawmakers get back to work, with Kansas one of around a dozen US states contemplating taking measures against sanctuary cities. The bill under proposal in Kansas would withdraw state funding from any cities that have sanctuary policies, which state legislators claim will prevent incidents such as the murder of a San Francisco woman by an undocumented immigrant last year.
“If Kansas’ sanctuary policies are allowed to continue, then it will only a matter of time before someone is hurt or killed,” claims Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, who is well known for his tough views on immigration.
Supporters of sanctuary cities say it is vital that undocumented immigrants can call police when necessary without the threat of being deported. Six Kansas counties – Butler, Finney, Harvey, Johnson, Sedgwick and Shawnee – agree with this policy.
An attempt in Congress intended to do much the same failed in 2015, with legislation to crack down on sanctuary cities being blocked by Democrats in the Senate, who claimed it was a Donald Trump-style attack on immigration. Similar legislation was passed last summer in the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican Party.
Around a dozen states are now considering enacting similar legislation, including Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Indiana, according to Ann Morse from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Last year North Carolina was among the first to sign prohibition on sanctuary cities into law.