Thirty-two Kansas mayors, including Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland, have signed a letter urging Congress to hear their concerns about immigration reform.
Besides Mayor Holland, Edwardsville Mayor John “Tiny” McTaggart has signed the letter.
The letter states that there is a need to protect the economy and workforce, supporting reasonable access to citizenship while “assuring adequate border security.”
The letter also asks Congress to look at the effect of any immigration reform on local governments, stating that “any immigration legislation generated by Congress cannot burden local governments with extra law enforcement or administrative burdens.” It calls on the federal government to fund any solution that it passes.
“Federal legislation should not erode effective community policing programs that have created an atmosphere of trust between law enforcement and the immigrant population. That relationship is absolutely essential for maintaining public safety while assimilating the immigrant population into our communities,” the letter stated.
According to a UG spokesman, the letter was circulated in a joint effort by Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and Lenexa Mayor Mike Boehm. It followed a series of teleconference phone calls with local elected officials and other immigration reform supporters around the state.
The letter noted that the Kansas mayors are mirroring a similar message from the Kansas Business Coalition for Immigration Reform, whose members include the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Kansas Farm Bureau and numerous other business organizations around the state.
The Business Coalition issued a similar letter to the Congressional delegation earlier this summer urging support for immigration reform legislation.