Bill Graves on Immigration
Former Republican KS Governor
Share costs of legal immigration between states & federal.
Graves adopted the National Governors Association policy:
The Governors urge Congress to consider the following principles regarding immigration policies.
- The decision to admit immigrants is a federal one that carries with it a firm federal commitment to shape immigration policy within the parameters of available resources we as a nation are determined to provide.
- The fiscal impact of immigration decisions must be addressed by the federal government. The states, charged with implementing federal policy, have shared and are sharing in the costs; however, there should be no further shift of costs to the states.
- A basic responsibility of the federal government is to collect and disseminate timely and reliable statistical information on immigration and its consequences for the United States.
- Federal immigration policies should ensure that new immigrants do not become a public charge to federal, state, or local governments.
- The federal government must provide adequate information to and consult with states on issues
concerning immigration decisions that affect the states.
- States should not have to incur significant costs in implementing federal laws regarding immigration status as a condition of benefits.
The Governors urge the following regarding Legalization and Naturalization:
Source: NGA policy HR-2: Immigration and Refugee Policy 01-NGA3 on Feb 15, 2001
- States require maximum flexibility in determining and allocating resources to meet the needs of newly legalized aliens.
- The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) must be diligent in its efforts to ensure that felons are not naturalized and being given the benefits of citizenship rather than being deported.
- The naturalization process should be streamlined to be more efficient and accessible to eligible applicants wishing to become citizens, with all the rights and responsibilities thereof.
- The INS must take aggressive action to eliminate the backlog of naturalization applications, which is now approximately 800,000 nationwide.
Federal government should deal with criminal repatriation.
Graves adopted the National Governors Association policy:
[Regarding illegal immigration], the Governors continue to call on the federal government to negotiate and renegotiate prisoner transfer treaties to expedite the transfer of criminal aliens in the United States who are subject to deportation or removal. The negotiations for such agreements should focus on:
- ensuring that the transferred prisoners serve the balance of their state-imposed prison sentence;
- removing any requirement that the prisoners consent to be transferred to their countries of origin;
- structuring the process to require that the prisoners serve the remainder of their original prison sentence if they return to the United States; and
- considering economic incentives to encourage countries of origin to take back their criminal citizens.
Additionally, the Governors believe the federal government should:
- increase the use of interior repatriation with countries contiguous to the United States;
- place INS officials in state and local facilities for early identification of potentially deportable aliens - nearer the point of their illegal entry - to ensure formal deportation prior to release; and
- upon the request of a state Governor, place INS officers in state courts to assist in the identification of criminal aliens pending criminal prosecution.
Finally, the Governors are concerned about the large number of deported felons that are returning to the United States. A significant number of the criminal alien felons housed in state prisons and local jails are previously convicted felons who reentered the United States after they were deported. The Governors urge the federal government to provide sufficient funds for proven positive identification systems, like the Automated Fingerprinting Identification System (AFIS), to allow for the expanded use of these systems in the rest of the nation.
Source: NGA policy HR-2: Immigration and Refugee Policy 01-NGA4 on Feb 15, 2001
English immersion over bilingual education.
Graves adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:
[The Republican Main Street Partnership supports giving priority to] examining new ways to increase the English fluency of limited English proficient students. Currently, priority is given to instruction programs that provide for bilingual education, which combines proficiency in the studentís native language with English instruction. Recently, however, education research has suggested that English immersion -- not bilingual instruction -- may be the most effective way to help students become proficient in English. Native language requirements in current law must change to reflect this reality and new instruction methods must be pursued with an eye toward regular evaluation and improved English language acquisition.
Source: 2001 GOP Main Street Partnership Action Agenda for Education 01-RMSP1 on Jul 2, 2001
Ease Canadian border-crossing rules.
Graves signed the Midwestern Governors' Conference resolution:
Source: Resolution of Midwestern Governors' Conf. on Canadian Border 99-MGC1 on Oct 14, 1999
- WHEREAS, the United States and Canada share the longest undefended border in the world; and
- WHEREAS, the United States and Canada have the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world, exceeding $1 billion every day; and
- WHEREAS, the rate of cross-border traffic is steadily increasing, with billions of dollars worth of goods and tens of millions of American and Canadian citizens crossing the land border each year; and
- WHEREAS, Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 requires the U.S. Attorney General to develop an automated entry-exit control system to register “all aliens” entering and departing the United States; and
- WHEREAS, this system will place an unmanageable requirement on border-crossing services, impose serious delays at the Canada-U.S. land border and result in unintended negative consequences for international trade, tourism, and the economies in our region; and
- WHEREAS, reports about serious congestion at the Canada-U.S. border have generated concern and uncertainty in the business community; and
- WHEREAS, the United States Senate has passed the Commerce-State-Justice Appropriations Bill and State Department Reauthorization legislation which repeal the entry-exit control system required by Section 110; now therefore be it
- RESOLVED, that the Midwestern Governors’ Conference calls on Congress and the President to repeal Section 110 because of the its adverse impact on legitimate cross border traffic at land border points of entry.
Page last updated: Nov 21, 2011