Kansas Senators Want Congress Involved In Immigration Policy Change

Jan 30, 2017

Kansas’ two Republican senators said Monday they support increased vetting of those entering the country, but want Congress involved in developing permanent policy changes.

Sen. Jerry Moran and Sen. Pat Roberts issued statements in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

The order temporarily bans immigrants and refugees from seven countries--Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen--from entering the U.S.

Sen. Moran’s statement:

Keeping Americans safe should be our federal government's top priority. Strengthening our immigration system is critical to that end, and it’s common sense to have appropriate vetting procedures in place for individuals wishing to travel to our country.

While I support thorough vetting, I do not support restricting the rights of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. Furthermore, far-reaching national security policy should always be devised in consultation with Congress and relevant government agencies.

Sen. Pat Roberts’ statement:

I agree with President Trump that we need a major overhaul of our immigration system and a better vetting process for those entering our nation. One attack on our shores like those in Paris and Brussels is one too many. We have also seen too many crimes committed by illegal immigrants that should never have been in our country in the first place.

However, we need to strike a balance that protects the rights of Americans and those permitted to enter the country legally. The president needs to work with Congress to ensure every aspect of a major policy change such as this is taken into consideration.

However, Gov. Sam Brownback expressed support for Trump's executive order:

It has always been my desire for America to be a haven for those facing religious persecution and a refuge for those seeking freedom. But, we are also a sovereign nation, and as Governor of the state, the safety and security of Kansans has been my top priority. That is why I previously issued an executive order barring state resources from being utilized to relocate those from countries compromised by terrorism.

Now, President Trump is taking action to ensure the integrity of the refugee program, calling for the implementation of thorough and comprehensive vetting, seeking to ensure true refugees are coming to America, while blocking those intent on doing us harm. Unlike the previous administration, President Trump is inviting state and local governments to play a broader role in the refugee resettlement process. This step, along with his prioritization of persecuted religions, indicates his commitment to helping those in need, while keeping America safe.

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Aileen LeBlanc is news director at KMUW. Follow her on Twitter @Aileen_LeBlanc.

 

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