Asylum seekers benefit from Biden’s extended work permits, but barriers remain | Opinion

Barrier too high

Earlier this month, the Biden administration extended the validity of issued work permits for immigrants, called Employment Authorization Documents or EADs.

The rule may seem like a mundane administrative decision, but it is a big deal. The extension will ensure that thousands of people can keep working with proper authorization. Among the groups benefiting most is asylum seekers — refugees who fled their home countries and cannot return.

I represented an asylum seeker in immigration court last month as a student attorney with the Boston University School of Law Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Clinic. Though our client applied for asylum in the fall of 2023 in a timely manner, she must wait 180 days to be eligible for work authorization. During these slow six months, her anxiety about her safety and future has been compounded by the harsh reality of living without an income.

Work authorization is too hard to acquire and keep, but it is essential. Without authorization, many asylum seekers must live in unstable housing or shelters. Many are forced to take jobs where they are subjected to exploitative conditions. The EAD extension is important in providing relief to families and communities, but the hurdles to initial authorization remain far too high.

- Sadie Keller, Lawrence

How to heal

To all evangelical Christians who continue to follow a false prophet, may I remind you that Jesus loves the people you hate. That includes pregnant women, immigrants, liberals, LGBTQIA+ people or anyone who looks or acts differently than you do.

In the spirit of reconciliation, you can be healed and forgiven if you reject idolatry.

- Patrick McGarry, Overland Park

Group effort

While we’re rethinking the Royals’ stadium location, how about this? Let’s get the owner of the Royals, the owner of Hallmark Cards, the mayor and the Jackson County executive in a room to brainstorm building a stadium at the Crown Center complex, by repurposing part of the Hallmark headquarters and its huge adjacent parking garages and lots.

Since the pandemic, Hallmark has outsourced and remote-sized its workforce, and has less need for so many offices and parking spaces. Could there be a more fitting name for the Royals’ neighborhood than Crown Center? The KC Streetcar would serve it. I think visionary Joyce C. Hall would applaud. (On-location Hallmark movie? Home run!)

P.S. No charge for the idea, though season tickets would be acceptable.

- Sylvia Tucker, Liberty

People’s voice

I love Dave Helling’s suggestion that the people pick the site of where the Royals play. (April 7, 17A, “Here’s what the Royals and Chiefs need to do next”) There’s just one problem in my opinion: John Sherman and the Royals organization don’t care what the public thinks. They care only about dictating a site where they believe their other commercial entities can make the most money.

I’d also like to see a vote on whether the voters buy the nonsense about “concrete cancer” at Kauffman Stadium. The no vote on that one would be far more of a landslide than the recent 58%-42% outcome.

- John A. Christiansen, Kansas City

Two ways

Both my wife and I are lifelong Jackson County residents who have been avid supporters of the Chiefs since 1963 and the Royals since 1969. Marny Sherman, wife of Royals owner John Sherman, stated that the Royals and Chiefs now want nothing to do with Jackson County. (April 7, 3B, “Wife of Royals owner: Team won’t work with Jackson County”)

I’ve got news for Mrs. 1%: Because of her recent statement to punish Jackson County after the recent vote, the Royals will never see another dime from us, nor will my TV be on Bally Sports during Royals games. The arrogance of this privileged elitist is truly alarming. Throwing fans under the bus as she did is exactly why the vote failed.

Jackson County has supported these teams through the good and the bad. Now, she no longer wants our support. I ask all Royals fans to join me by not backing this ungrateful owner’s team.

I look forward to the Chiefs’ response to the Royals’ ownership’s statement. If they agree with Mrs. Sherman, then it’ll be the same response from me: Good riddance to both of them.

- Dell Anderson, Blue Springs

Plastic smarts

I read the March 29 story about the Kansas Senate advancing a measure preventing municipalities from enacting bans on single-use plastic containers. (3A, “Kansas Senate advances bill to block plastic bag bans”)

I just spent 10 days in Colorado, which has gotten rid of plastic bags in stores and restaurants. I hadn’t been there in two years, and I was amazed to see no plastic waste in the streets and along fences. Everyone carries reusable shopping bags, or you can buy paper bags from merchants for 10 cents.

It won’t be long before Kansas follows this example — if our lawmakers are smart enough to realize a smart move.

But, of course, they can’t work on the really important problems. Kansas will likely be years behind in cleaning up the trash.

- Judy Allen, Olathe

Minimize the ugly

After reading the April 5 front-page story about the gigantic power poles Evergy is installing in De Soto, I felt so sorry for the couple who had so many trees removed from their yard. (“Tree stumps, giant power poles: De Soto neighbors lament view”)

The very, very least Evergy could do is to paint those monstrosities with flat black paint to kinda-sorta minimize them, making them fade into the background just a little bit.

- Diane Capps, Kansas City