Tiffany pushes back on immigration story

Second District Kansas Congressional Republican primary candidate Shawn Tiffany is pushing back against a Kansas Informer story earlier this week that dissected pro-immigrant positions he took as a principal and eventually president of the Kansas Livestock Association in recent years to favor immigrant labor at Kansas beef plants and in other industries, as immigration and border security leads topics in the 2nd District race and numerous other 2024 congressional contests across the country.

The Informer emailed Tiffany’s campaign for comment in researching the earlier article and got no response. Contacts to KLA Executive Director Matt Teagarden also yielded no comment nor additional contact info for Tiffany. But Tiffany’s subsequent statement stressed his own border plan and noted the leading Republican in the race, former Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, voted as a state senator in 2004 and 2008 for measures allowing illegal immigrant in-state college tuition and against blocking taxpayer benefits for illegals.

Shawn Tiffany

“The work I did for Kansas ag producers was focused on fighting extreme climate policies and government overreach,” Tiffany said in the followup. “My immigration position is clear in the comprehensive plan I have released to secure the southern border. Derek Schmidt, however, has an extensive record of supporting taxpayer benefits for illegal immigrants and helping illegals to avoid arrest in our communities.”

In 2022 as attorney general, Schmidt pushed for and won approval of a bill banning sanctuary cities in Kansas.

Comments from both campaigns illustrate the weight immigration issues are carrying even in a non-border state like Kansas. A February Gallup Poll found immigration to be the issue growing most in importance Americans in the pre-election landscape, climbing 8 percentage points in reported importance over a 30-day period.

A recent poll in the race showed Schmidt with a commanding lead among the candidates, but 49 percent of those polled said they had not yet determined who they planned to vote for.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.