Groups says it’ll seek Sedgwick County commissioner recall
WICHITA — An advocacy group has announced plans to try to recall a Sedgwick County commissioner who wants to prohibit people in the U.S. illegally from participating in a federal nutrition program in Kansas.
The Wichita Eagle reports the Immigration Advocacy Network announced Monday it'll seek to recall Sedgwick County Commission chair Richard Ranzau over his positions on health care and immigration. Sandrine Lisk, director of advocacy for the group, says they'll apply within the week for a petition seeking Ranzau's recall.
Supporters of the recall would try to seek about 9,400 signatures of north-central Sedgwick County residents to force a special election if the district attorney finds acceptable reason for a recall.
Ranzau recently sent a letter to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment asking that Kansas participants in the federal food program, called Women, Infants and Children, be limited to "United States citizens, nationals and qualified aliens."
"I have stated that citizens of this country should not be forced to subsidize illegal immigration and I stand by that," Ranzau said Monday.
The program provides nutrition education and issues checks to low-income families for foods like baby formula, cereal, cheese, eggs and milk.
Last month county commissioners voted to reduce program funding by $320,000 to trim administrative and overhead costs.
"Who denies health care to babies and children up to five years of age?" asked Sharon Ailslieger with the local League of Women Voters chapter. "I'm sorry, but that is unacceptable. We are not a Third World nation."
The Immigration Advocacy Network has also criticized other public health decisions of the county commissioners, such as approving a 2016 financial budget that cuts $540,000 for health education and data programs as well as rejecting a $580,000 grant from the state to fight against obesity, diabetes and heart disease among residents.
Lisk said her organization believes Ranzau is driving these decisions. Ranzau said a potential recall won't affect his positions on WIC.