Former Kansas Secretary of State and immigration hardliner Kris Kobach sent the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency a list of Nebraskan residents he suspected of being undocumented immigrants while he was running for governor in 2017.
The Kansas City Star reported on Sunday that Kobach had contacted then-ICE acting head Tom Homan in 2017 to “verify” the immigration status of the 289 people on a list he had compiled.
Kobach had done so in an effort to help the city of Fremont, Nebraska enforce an ordinance he’d helped craft that prohibits landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants.
Under the ordinance, renters must submit occupancy licenses to landlords that indicate whether or not the renters are U.S. citizens. Though the courts determined that the ordinance was constitutional, it was still unenforceable because the information on the license doesn’t indicate whether or not the renter is residing in the country legally.
Kobach, who is now running for Senate, told the Star that Fremont city officials had asked him to contact Homan to help with enforcement efforts.
However, Kobach’s email indicated that he also encouraged ICE to use the list for its “enforcement operations,” according to the Star.
“The Fremont ordinance permits the city to share any information on the alien’s application with ICE for ICE’s own purposes,” Kobach reportedly wrote. “So if your agents want to use that information for ICE enforcement operations, the ordinance contemplates that.”
The Star reported that ICE ultimately did not act on Kobach’s list.