Graves - The Barnes Position

ENFORCEMENT ONLY. In 2007 Barnes accused her opponent of distilling this complicated issue down into campaign slogans designed by polarize voters. [Roll Call, 10/31/07] In 2008, Graves aired a television ad criticizing Barnes for attending a fundraiser at the residence of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the ad, the narrator described Barnes’ immigration stance as saying “Yes to amnesty for illegal immigrants.” [Roll Call, 5/13/08; Hotakainen, Kansas City Star's Prime Buzz, 3/25/08]

But the candidate’s campaign website indicates Barnes’ support for stronger enforcement against employers who hire undocumented workers, saying that: “Employers who hire illegal immigrants are breaking the law, and we need to hold them accountable. It’s as simple as that.” The site is silent on the question of what to do with the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. [Kay Barnes for Congress, accessed 9/9/08]

A statement released by Barnes lists her immigration position as follows: "First, we must implement the border security recommendations from the 9/11 Commission that have not been put fully into place. Second, we should take a comprehensive strategy, led by law enforcement that includes border fences, additional Border Guards, and proven technology and electronic tracking.”

In a press release, Barnes said, “The issue of immigration reform is another example of Congressman Sam Graves’ trying to rewrite history. Today, he talks about cracking down on illegal immigrants, but for the past seven years, the problem has only gotten worse: on his watch, an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants have crossed the border into the U.S.... In fact, it shouldn’t surprise us: in Congress, Graves voted repeatedly against increasing fines for businesses that hire illegal immigrants and opposed the 9/11 Commission recommendations on border security and immigration that would have put an additional 3,000 border patrol agents on the border.... We will never stop, let alone reverse the flow of illegal immigrants until we take away the reason that most of them come to the U.S. in the first place -- the easy availability of jobs.” [Barnes Press Release, 4/18/08]