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Illegal Immigration A Topic In Frankfort As Well As Washington

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Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
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Kentucky State Capitol, Frankfort

While illegal immigration is certainly a popular topic among certain policy makers in Washington, it can also get attention at the state level.   Kentucky’s first Latino member of the general assembly and a newly elected House representative have interest in the issue.

Senator Ralph Alvarado says undocumented immigrants, many working seasonal jobs, would be well served by an expanded work visa program and it could mean additional tax revenues for Kentucky.  Alvarado has discussed President Trump’s border wall idea with him directly.

“I’ve had a chance to sit on President Trump’s Hispanic advisory council before he got elected into office and I sat with him in Trump tower with 22 other Latinos and when this topic came up, our response was, you want to put up a wall fine.  But, make sure you put a big gate on that wall," Alvarado said.
 
Alvarado, a Winchester doctor, believes immigrant children not born in the U.S., should be eligible for amnesty and citizenship.
 
First term Representative Nima Kulkarni is an immigration attorney.  While agreeing private funds and groups working to improve housing and infrastructure in countries south of the border are beneficial, they’re not likely to be expansive enough to stem the flow of those seeking asylum.
 
Kulkarni said, “Piecemeal you’re not going to necessarily see a sea change in the way that government functions or any of those governments functions.  And you have to remember the problem in drug related crime and poverty.”
 
Kulkarni says many women and children in countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are fleeing violence.  She says the economic based migration in the U.S. has been a net negative figure for a number of years.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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