From the summer 2015 issue of Kansas History magazine: “Kansas experienced its most dynamic period of population growth by far during its first three decades of statehood. At the end of the Civil War in 1865, the state census enumerated 136,000 people; federal census takers counted 364,000 in 1870; almost one million in 1880, and nearly a million and a half in 1890. Most of the expectant settlers came from states to the east, with Illinois, Indiana and Missouri leading the field. But the state’s immigrant population, most of whom hailed from the British Isles or Germany, was significant, and although it actually peaked at 13.3 percent in 1870, the overall number continued to increase. Thousands of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe joined this transatlantic migration around the turn of the twentieth century. For the most part, the state welcomed all the migrants who came to settle its vast public and private lands and to build their farms and towns, especially during the immediate postwar decades. The State Bureau of Immigration, the State Board of Agriculture, local newspapers, businesses, and private individuals and groups actively recruited immigrants.
“The editor of the Junction City Union proclaimed on April 29, 1865, that Kansas ‘presents to the pioneer settler inducements second to no state in all the West, as a field for emigration…’
“Three years later, in 1868, the state commissioner of immigration called on Kansans to be aggressive in their recruitment of immigrants: ‘It would not be characteristic for Kansas to be hid under a bushel, Let us see that her light shall shine.’”
NOW look at us.
Our secretary of state, Kris Kobach, hopes to keep immigrants from voting, even from building a life in this country.
Late last month, Kobach was a featured speaker at a Michigan workshop sponsored by the white nationalist Social Contract Press, a publisher of race-baiting articles by white nationalists.
Their objectives include an ethnic cleansing for America – and Kobach was right there with them. Kobach has also been a lawyer for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), listed since 2007 as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Among FAIR’s missions is the repeal or dismantling of the federal Immigration Act (1965). That law, with the civil rights and voting rights acts, eradicated decades of racist immigration policy in the United States. Kobach is with people who would scrap it all.
And we have a state legislator (Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro) who has proposed making sport of shooting at them from the air, like feral pigs. Our congressional delegation carries a compatible message: Round ‘em up and send them packing – where, doesn’t really matter so long as they’re gone. That shining light? It went out when we elected people who would punish immigration, if not kill it.
Kansas is the only state founded on a moral principle, that slavery is wrong. What does it say about us, that we would reject those who want to be free, and refuse those who seek freedom’s ultimate voice, the right to vote?
– JOHN MARSHALL