Response to Kearney Hub on Illegal Immigration


Response to Kearney Hub on Illegal Immigration


Hub's "Appaling Insinuations"

Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 12:00 pm

In a March 30 editorial on my bill to repeal state-funded prenatal health benefits to illegal immigrants, the Hub offered the kind of baseless and derogatory attack common to a political campaign ad, not a reputable news organization.

The editorial suggests that I am famous for my “dislike” of people “unworthy to be in the United States.” This is an appalling insinuation. Leaders from the Hispanic community who have sought a dialogue with me have found no greater advocate for legal immigration than myself.

However, like most Nebraskans, I have zero tolerance for those who break or disregard our laws. I believe illegal immigration places a fundamentally unfair burden on our taxpayers, hospitals, schools and law enforcement agencies.

It is worth noting that I do not stand alone in my opposition to state-funded prenatal care benefits for those here illegally. The editorial failed to mention that Gov. Dave Heineman supports the full repeal of these benefits and excluded that funding from his budget proposal.

Last year, 17 Republican state senators stood with me in opposition to these benefits, including now Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann and now U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, whom the Hub endorsed in 2012 despite her multiple votes on this issue.

And while long on personal criticisms, the editorial is short on facts about economic realities. State Medicaid Director Vivianne Chaumont testified in support of my bill, stating that offering these health benefits to illegal immigrants provided no “fiscal advantages” to the state.

Finally, the editorial suggests my “vendetta” on this issue casts doubt on my candidacy for governor. I am disappointed by the apparent ease with which anonymous editorial writers whom I’ve never met can make such broad judgments on my character.

Fortunately, the people of Nebraska have a more meaningful standard and will also consider my record of military service, business experience, and leadership on tough issues before casting their vote in 2014.

State Sen. Charlie Janssen, Fremont

EDITOR’S NOTE: The author represents Legislative District 15 in the Nebraska Legislature and is a Republican candidate for governor.