(TOPEKA, Kan.) — Police will be able to ask someone his or her immigration status if a Kansas lawmaker has his way.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lance Kinzer told The Associated Press on Wednesday he's drafting an immigration bill. The Olathe Republican says it will include a provision directing law enforcement officers to check the status of people they stop legally, if they have a reasonable suspicion the individuals are in the country illegally.
Kinzer did not expand on the definition of "reasonable suspicion." He expects another House committee to agree Thursday to sponsor it. The exact wording of the legislation is not yet known.
Kinzer says he and other lawmakers are working with Secretary of State Kris Kobach on the legislation. Kobach became nationally known for helping draft a similar law in Arizona. That legislation led to protests, boycotts and a federal lawsuit challenging the legislation.
Supporters of the Arizona law say the state had to step in because the federal government has not done enough to stop illegal immigration. Opponents say it allows police to racially profile. Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) took steps to ensure law enforcement personnel are trained not to target someone because of their ethnicity or nationality.