Kris Kobach stuck as GOP moves forward
The Kansas City Star
As it does nearly every year, the Kansas Legislature spent some time this week fretting about a state law that enables some young people who are undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.
Speaking at a committee hearing in favor of repealing the privilege was none other than Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Of course he would be there. The Republican officeholder and nationally known advocate for anti-immigrant causes cut his teeth on this issue. Fighting educational opportunities for the children of undocumented immigrants was one of the issues that propelled Kobach into high visibility.
I’ve always found that sad. Kobach, as we know, is a Yale-educated lawyer who has chosen as part of his life’s work to deprive hard-working young people of a means to achieve their dreams. Such a waste, at many levels.
Under Kansas law, students are eligible for in-state tuition if they have lived in the state for at least three years, graduated from a Kansas high school or received a GED, and pledge to become a U.S. citizen.
“Stop using taxpayer money to subsidize an illegal workforce,” Kobach told the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.
For a smart lawyer, that’s not even a logical argument. Most of the students affected by the bill can only afford to attend college at in-state rates. It’s not as though the state of Kansas is losing out-of-state tuition dollars.
One never knows with legislatures, but I doubt if the bill to repeal in-state tuition will gain much traction this year. With momentum in the national Republican party swinging toward greater acceptance of undocumented immigrants, it’s a safe bet that Gov. Sam Brownback isn’t anxious to have an anti-immigrant bill land on his desk.
For such an openly ambitious politician, Kobach seems stuck in a time warp. The man seriously needs to re-evaluate his priorities.