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Native American Lawmaker To Anti-Immigrant Kansas Official: ‘When You Mention Illegal Immigrant, I Think Of All Of You’

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"Native American Lawmaker To Anti-Immigrant Kansas Official: ‘When You Mention Illegal Immigrant, I Think Of All Of You’"

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Left: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R). Right: State Rep. Ponka-We Victors (D).

A Native American state representative in Kansas rebuked Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a leader in the anti-immigrant movement, at a hearing yesterday.

“I think it’s funny Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you,” said State Rep. Ponka-We Victors (D), a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation of Arizona, during a hearing on Wednesday about a state statute that allows children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at public universities. Her comments drew loud applause from the audience.

The Topeka Capital-Journal has more:

Wednesday’s hearing on House Bill 2192 would have repealed a nearly 10-year-old statute that allows students who graduate from Kansas high schools and have lived in Kansas for at least three years to pay in-state tuition at state universities and community colleges, regardless of residency status.

Kobach, a lightning-rod for controversy on immigration issues, told the committee federal law conflicts with that statute.

“U.S. citizens should always come first when it comes to handing out government subsidies,” Kobach said.

Kobach, author of anti-immigrant state laws like SB 1070 in Arizona and HB 56 in Alabama, is a central figure in the conservative push to oppose immigration reform. He served as an advisor on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012 and continues to fight for stricter laws in Kansas and around the country.

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