Anti-Immigration Hero Kris Kobach Joins Trump Transition Team

Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital Journal

Kansas Secretary of State and anti-immigration hardliner Kris Kobach says he was officially named to serve on President-elect Donald Trump’s immigration team.

“I’m a member of the immigration policy transition team and there’s going to be a lot to do there in part because Mr. Trump and Mr. Obama are diametric opposites when it comes to immigration policy so there will be a lot of changes,” Kobach told KWCH on Wednesday.

The Kansas Republican was an early supporter of Trump, and said he has since April served as an immigration policy advisor to the real estate mogul’s campaign. Kobach takes credit for the Trump team’s proposal to fund the border wall by barring Mexican nationals in the U.S. from wiring money back home. He believed this loss of money would prompt the Mexican government to pay for the wall (Trump has since said that our southern neighbor will “reimburse” us for his signature border control effort).

“There’s no question the wall is going to get built,” Kobach said to KWCH. “The only question is how quickly will it get done and who pays for it?”

The Kansas Secretary of State is one of the nation’s fiercest voices against undocumented immigration. He helped write Arizona’s SB1070 and Alabama’s HB56 laws, both of which allowed law enforcement officers to stop people they think might be undocumented immigrants. Kobach also pushed for proof of citizenship as a requirement to register to vote, and this year his office sent out Spanish-language voter guides with two key errors that did not make it into the English guides.

Kobach has also made voter fraud a pet issue, despite the lack of credible evidence that in-person voter fraud happens regularly.

As a member of the convention committee responsible for overseeing this year’s GOP platform, Kobach helped push the Republican Party further right than it has been in recent memory.

He successfully added an amendment detailing a “border wall” rather than just a “physical barrier” between the U.S. and Mexico; another amendment calling for the protection of “American workers” over foreign nationals; and yet another opposing any restrictions on high-capacity-magazine weapons. He also lobbied against a fellow delegate’s effort to put pro-diversity language in the platform.

Some of Trump’s white nationalist backers, including Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, have said they would love to see Kobach selected for a post in a Trump administration.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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