Kansas 3rd Congressional District candidates on the issues: The role of ICE and immigration reform

A road sign north of the U.S.-Mexico border north of Tijuana. Photo credit Jonathan McIntosh. Used under a Creative Commons license.

We’re continuing with responses to our questions for the the three candidates running for the Kansas 3rd Congressional District seat. Here’s question number three:

Are you comfortable with the current operation of the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency? If so, why? If not, what needs to change? Should the agency be abolished? What key points would you include in any immigration overhaul?

Kevin Yoder, Republican

Did not respond.

Sharice Davids, Democrat

Our immigration system is broken and both parties in Washington have failed to fix it. I believe that we can do it – and do it fairly – if we do it according to our values. But my opponent has stood by while this administration has consistently been a disaster on immigration. He voted with them time after time, even as they broke promises to Dreamers and ripped children away from their parents at our borders. And he voted against bipartisan immigration reform. Now he’s running radicalized anti-immigrant attack ads against me. But Kansans know better. Instead of playing politics with immigration, I’m ready to work with both sides to finally fix it. I do not support abolishing ICE. I do support comprehensive immigration reform that means strong borders and a legal path to citizenship.

Chris Clemmons, Libertarian

Protecting our borders is one of the oldest and most essential duties of the federal government. From the standpoint of both human rights and national security, we need to uphold the rule of law, and ensure that we enforce our immigration policy.

Our immigration policy needs to be easy to navigate and understand, and we need to be more proactive in ensuring people renew their legal status here in the U.S., and/or potentially make it easier for those here on temporary status to become permanent citizens, as 2/3 of the undocumented immigrants in our country are here on overstayed visas. We also need to be more proactive in informing citizens of other nations of how to properly immigrate into our country or seek asylum. We need to do our best to encourage citizens from around the planet to come here through the proper legal channels, for their protection and ours.

The looser we are on enforcing our policies, the more people will attempt to migrate through illegal channels. That risks their lives, leaves them open to being taken advantage of before/after making to the U.S., and creates a plethora of problems for all parties involved. As such, I am open to ideas on how to better enforce our policy and borders, in as effective and respectful a manner as possible.

Tomorrow, we’ll run the candidates’ responses to item four:

Are you satisfied with the level of oversight Congress has exercised during the Trump administration? If not, what issues do you believe need investigation or additional scrutiny?