Surprise, Kris Kobach: Illegal immigrant population is actually way down in Kansas

Kris Kobach

Kris Kobach

Kris Kobach opened his Kansas governor’s campaign last week with ugly attacks on people he too often shamefully calls “illegal aliens.”

“Unfortunately, Kansas has become the sanctuary state of the Midwest,” he says on his website. “We are the only state in the 5-state area that has done nothing to discourage illegal immigration.”

I have some shocking news for Kobach, news that hasn’t been commonly reported in recent years.

The number of illegal immigrants in Kansas is down — way down — according to a Pew Research Report on Hispanic Trends issued last fall.

Kansas’ number of illegal immigrants dropped by 20,000, down to 75,000, between 2009 and 2014.

That’s a 21 percent reduction — the largest among American states for that time period.

Here’hisp1s the Pew Research Report chart that shows which states had significant gains or losses in recent years.

“In the seven states where the unauthorized immigrant population declined, falling numbers of unauthorized Mexican immigrants were the key factor,” the report said.

Unfortunately, these facts don’t fit the simplistic, xenophobic-leaning campaign that Kobach wants to wage.

The Republican secretary of state said on his campaign site that illegal immigration “puts Kansans’ jobs at risk. And it puts Kansans’ lives at risk.”

“We can solve this problem in Kansas. But it takes leadership and political will.  I’ll get the job done.”

Yet, the “problem” actually has been declining for years without any help from Kobach.

The Pew Research Center has an excellent analysis of how and why this is happening.

Finally, the Pew Research folks also put together several national charts about illegal immigrant populations across the United States.

One shows the percentage of illegal immigrants as the share of a state’s population.

The national average was 3.5 percent in 2014.

Kansas was at only 2.4 percent.


Kobach is trying to gin up a campaign issue where none really exists.

If you’d like to read something that spotlights the good that immigration does for the state of Kansas, check out this link. It provides information from the American Immigration Council about Kansas.

Just don’t let Kris Kobach know you’re actually trying to get at the truth about an issue in Kansas.