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Kansas Secretary of State Wants Police to Help Enforce Immigration Laws

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter tells a Kansas Senate committee his department lacks the resources to help federal immigration authorities.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is pushing two bills that would essentially deputize state troopers and local police to help enforce federal immigration law. But the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Sheriffs Association told lawmakers they don’t have the resources to do it and don’t want to be exposed to potentially costly litigation. Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter says Kobach should have consulted law enforcement before introducing the bills.

Lawmakers heard emotional testimony from the father of a woman killed by an undocumented immigrant in a car crash and a number of people who immigrated legally but fear the bills would result in more racial profiling. Kobach is also promoting a bill that would crack down on, so-called, “Sanctuary Cities” that don't comply with requests to detain illegal immigrants.

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