REVEALING: Kobach Caught On Camera With His Plan For DHS In His Hand

Peter Foley

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach -- a far-right Republican known for championing anti-immigration measures and voting restrictions -- was photographed with President-elect Donald Trump Sunday holding Kobach's "strategic plan" for the Department of Homeland Security, the Topeka-Capital Journal reported. The plan appears from the photograph to include some of Kobach's most extreme anti-immigration proposals and even alludes to election law, another area where the secretary of state is known for taking hard right positions.

The plan is titled "KOBACH STRATEGIC PLAN FOR FIRST 365 DAYS." The first page of the plan is visible in the photograph, which was taken by an AP photographer, though much of it is obscured by Kobach's arm. Some of it is still readable, however, including proposals to "Update and reintroduce" a George W. Bush era program to register immigrants from certain, usually Muslim countries; an "extreme vetting" process for "high-risk aliens" in which immigrants are interviewed about "jihad," "Sharia law," gender equality and the U.S. Constitution; and the reduction of Syrian refugees settled in the United States "to zero."

Additionally, the plan appears to outline new guidelines for the deportation of undocumented immigrants.

At the bottom of the page is also the suggestion to "Draft Amendments to National Voter...", perhaps a reference to the National Voter Registration Act. Kobach's attempts to require Kansans to show documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote in the state have been blocked by courts multiple times for violating the National Voter Registration Act.

Kobach was an early Trump supporter and is currently serving on Trump's transition team. It is unclear from the photo whether he is being considered to serve as secretary of Homeland Security, which, among other things, oversees U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE).

The photo does show that he is presenting a plan to bring back the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System or "NSEERS" program, which Kobach designed and implemented as a Justice Department lawyer in the Bush administration. The program required men who were 16 or older and immigrating from 25 countries -- most of them Muslim countries -- to register in a process that included fingerprints and questioning. As the Huffington Post reported, it was deemed a failure even by fellow Bush administration officials and eventually ended. Kobach signaled an interest in bringing back the program in a Reuters interview last week.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.
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