Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

26Mar/130

Native Legislator Ponka-We Victors Turns Tables at Immigration Hearing in Kansas

ponka-we-victors-illegal-immigrants

The above photo accompanies an article appearing on Indian Country Today Media Network's online news site.  When you hear people talk about immigration, immigration reform, etc. consider this quote and exchange.  While you may have opinions about immigration, at least be clear about the origins of the construct in this country, and that it's very relative... except of course when you belong to a group that is indigenous to the space.  There is history to everything.

A remark about immigration made by a Native State Representative at a hearing  in the Kansas House of Representatives has attracted the attention of major  media -- and yet to many Natives, it's merely the plainest of facts.

The hearing concerned the legality of offering children of illegal immigrants  to pay the in-state tuition rate to attend universities and community colleges  in Kansas. The Legislature was seeking to overturn a statute that has been on  the books for nearly a decade --a Topeka Capital-Journal story described the effort as an "annual  attempt."

Ponka-We Victors (D-Wichita), a member of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma and the  Tohono O'odham Nation, and the only American Indian in the Kansas State  Legislature, offered her reading of the situation to Kris Kobach, Kansas'  Secretary of State.

"I think it’s funny Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I  think of all of you," Victors said, prompting cheers from the gallery, described  by the Capital-Journal as "heavily pro-immigrant." Rep. Arlen Siegfreid  (R-Olathe) the chairman of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, felt  moved to tell the room, "Please don't do that."

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