Hot topic of immigration around KC, D.C.

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Some Kansas City area Evangelical ministries are leading the charge in the immigration debate. Almost 100 religious leaders met Tuesday to discuss their public policy agenda at the same time political leaders in Washington, D.C. debate the new immigration reform bill.

The bill before Congress would strengthen border security, allow tens of thousands of work permits, and provide a path to citizenship.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach called that amnesty and said the Boston bombing suspects are an example of why these reforms are a bad idea.

He says one of the suspects went through two background checks and a personal interview with the FBI "and they were still unable to prove he had terrorist intentions and should be barred from the country," said Kobach," and that was far more scrutiny than these aliens will have."

That was very discouraging for Kurt Rietema to hear.

"It's not reflecting Americans opinion on how we want to see immigration changed," said Rietema.

Rietema is with Youthfront, a group that sponsored a meeting Tuesday with almost 100 religious leaders from the metro. It's part of an Evangelical movement focused on improving the lives of immigrants.

"We're not just caring about someone's soul, but also their body and their presence here right now," he said.

The group says they are proof that more and more of the largest evangelical groups in the country are on board with immigration reform.

"This isn't something happening anecdotally, here's real people representing the majority of people, shifting the tide," Rietema said, "and causing a stir in the Republican party specifically."

TO LEARN MORE: iwasastrangerkc.blogspot.com

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