In the end Wednesday, a legislative panel put the Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit to work on a limited survey of the existing data about the financial costs and benefits of illegal immigration, rather than the sweeping audit sought by state Rep. Nile Dillmore, D-Wichita. That’s something. And the discussion was telling, as lawmakers wrestled with how to get solid data to guide further attempts to pass laws targeting illegal immigration. The point is that any legislative action should be informed by facts, rather than fear and ignorance.
Sen. Les Donovan, R-Wichita, even cast doubt on the notion that, full audit or not, the Legislature would or could do much about illegal immigration (“Not in my lifetime,” he predicted), because federal law already requires that public schools accept undocumented children and emergency rooms aren’t going to start turning away illegal immigrants in need of help. “This is America,” Donovan said. “We don’t do that.”
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