Police arrested 18 people protesting policies pushed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach after the demonstrators occupied part of his office Monday.
Police led them past other protesters to a bus waiting outside Kobach’s office.
Rachel Shivers, with the Kansas Poor People’s Campaign, said they targeted Kobach’s office because of his work on immigration issues and his support for strict voting laws.
“He’s been a lead architect for voter suppression across Kansas and across the nation,” she said.
Shivers said the protesters occupied the office because they believe government officials aren’t listening to their concerns.
“When they repeatedly refuse to hear our complaints and our concerns,” she said, “there needs to be a way to turn up the volume on our message.”
Kobach fired back against the group in a statement, saying he wouldn’t change his efforts to fight illegal immigration.
“What these protesters do not seem to understand is that the law is the law, and illegal means illegal,” Kobach said. “I have fought illegal immigration throughout my entire career.”
A spokesman for the Kansas Highway Patrol said the 18 were charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing.
This was the second week of protests by the Poor People’s Campaign in Topeka. Last week, multiple people were cited after blocking traffic near the Statehouse.
The group plans to hold several more weekly protests.
Stephen Koranda has more: