Immigration debate takes center stage in KC metro

The controversy surrounding Arizona’s new immigration law takes center stage in the Kansas City metro.

Kris Kobach, who is running for Secretary of State in Kansas, is holding a rally on immigration at the Ritz Charles in Overland Park. It started around 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is set to make an appearance.

The rally will also serve as a campaign event for Kobach.

“The message is illegal means illegal and Sheriff Joe more than any other law enforcement officer in America epitomizes that attitude we need to enforce the law,” says Kobach.

Arizona’s law requires officers to question a person’s immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion they are in the country illegally.

Several groups are organizing counter rallies. The American Immigration Lawyers Association is one of those groups.

“The immigration law in Arizona SB 1070 is mean spirited. It requires police in a sense to make decisions not on what somebody is done but based on the way they look,” says David Leopold who is president of AILA.

The Department of Justice sued Arizona to stop the law from taking effect. The DOJ argues it undermines federal law.

Kobach faces J.R. Claeys and Elizabeth Ensley in the Republican primary. Chris Biggs and Chris Steineger face off against each other in the Democratic primary for Secretary of State.

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