As both a die-hard liberal and a former hairstylist of Kris Kobach's, I read with interest Carolyn Szczepanski's recent article about him.
I am in a situation somewhat similar to Jessica Allen-Piedra's. During the occasions when I had Kris in my chair, I would often ask him about immigration law. His answers were always nonpartisan and up-to-date, as far as the latest rulings. Although I personally disagree with his politics, Kobach is very well-versed in this subject and has a lot of knowledge to offer students. Kayti McGee, Overland Park
Crossed for Kris
I've picked up the Pitch for years, exclusively for the musical entertainment calendar. I don't read this liberal rag because I find it to be a bleeding-heart platform for people with way too much time on their hands.
The article on Kris Kobach reeled me in because of the connection to the 60 Minutes segment about the Hazelton, Pennsylvania, ordinance penalizing employers who give jobs to undocumented immigrants.
I applaud Mr. Kobach for his efforts to educate American students (current and future taxpayers) and UMKC for supporting this controversial subject as worthy curriculum. Call them what you want, but the simple truth is that unregistered, undocumented aliens, immigrants or foreigners working in the United States, evading taxes and draining our health-care and education resources, are illegal. Entitlement to the American way comes from contributing to the system, not because you marry a citizen and make babies here. Maybe if Ms. Allen-Piedra were to participate in Mr. Kobach's class, she might learn something. Then, instead of her exhaustive effort to try to get her husband, who "illegally crossed the Arizona border in 1999," returned to the United States, she could turn that energy into a positive and take her family and education to Mexico and teach people how to immigrate legally.
While she's at it, teach them some English if they want to live in this country so that we who speak the language don't have to dial "1" for service in English, to accommodate those who don't, every time we make a phone call. M. Hohnbaum, Kansas City, Missouri
They Shall Overcome
Just finished your fine article on Kobach. So, Kobach reminds his supporters of the NAACP and its earlier civil rights efforts. Me, too! I just can't decide if Kobach is playing Alabama Gov. George Wallace or Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett. Both were as dedicated as Kobach to keeping minorities poor and uneducated. But Kobach is a little young and preppy for that type of evocation.
Given how much Kobach's crowd likes to decry "moral relativism," I was a little amused when one of the Johnson County churches he cruises during election cycles recently replaced its roof using a team of what appeared to be hardworking illegals.
Speaking of revisiting history, how long before Kobach and Phill Kline start applying hot stones to people's chests while their supporters (all 35 percent of them) demand that the accused confess to being witches? But given that those hot stones might have been quarried by illegals, Kline could probably just heat up a few cases of Slim-Fast. Mike Webber, Prairie Village
I had been pensive yet reticent about commenting on "Back to School With Kris Kobach," but then I thought on three issues: the interstate compact between Kansas and Missouri, which allows for in-state tuition in the metropolitan area for undergraduates; the fact that he unfortunately lives in Kansas; the detrimental effects on the education of a truly inconsequential number of immigrant Kansas youth who have necessarily had to qualify for in-state tuition by attending a Kansas high school for three years and have graduated, all while demonstrating a propensity to make their lives in Kansas once they become documented.
Apparently, he thinks it better to have these young men and women hanging out at day-labor centers, dealing drugs or clogging up our justice system. Kobach's hire was not only disastrous for UMKC; it continues the perception that Kansas City is mired by a backwoods intelligentsia.
As for Dean Suni, if the School of Law actually admitted students of color at a rate even halfway proportional to the general population (not even Kansas City proper), her comment about the students supporting Kobach would become laughingstock material for Comedy Central's Daily Show or The Colbert Report.
Finally, I think it is reprehensible that any tax money goes to support an ideological course of study that would fit in supremely with that of Nazi Germany from the mid-1930s until its vanquishment. David Davis, Overland Park
Critics' Choices, January 4
Thank you for covering Roy Hargrove. That man is an idol of mine. Spread the word about him! I'm already thurr!
Miles Bonny, Kansas City, Kansas