Kris Kobach has been advising Donald Trump on immigration issues, the Kansas secretary of state told the Topeka Capital-Journal in an interview published Sunday.
Kobach has specifically helped with Trump’s proposal to force Mexico to pay for a wall along its border with the United States. When the Kansas official endorsed Trump in February, he laid out a way for Trump to use the Patriot Act to bar Mexican nationals in the United States from wiring money to Mexican residents. This loss of money would motivate the Mexican government to pay for the wall, Kobach wrote.
In a memo provided to the Washington Post earlier in April, Trump’s plan to make Mexico pay for the wall echoed Kobach’s February statement.
Kobach told the Capital-Journal that he helped write Trump’s plan and has “been in touch with Mr. Trump directly and his campaign team about this issue.”
“Mr. Trump was receptive to that idea and I think he’s an excellent negotiator and he looks for opportunities to put pressure on opposing parties in negotiations and this fits the bill,” Kobach said.
Kobach has been among the GOP’s fiercest immigration hardliners. He helped write the Arizona law that allowed law enforcement officers to stop people they believed were undocumented immigrants, and has pushed for proof of citizenship as a requirement to register to vote.
In his interview with the Capital-Journal, Kobach also applauded Trump’s ability to attract new voters to the Republican Party and the 2016 election.
“A lot of that is due to the Trump effect, where he’s bringing in people who have been completely absent from political involvement and participation in elections,” he said.