Kobach, Kansas architect of restrictive immigration laws, meets with Trump

By Anita Kumar and Bryan Lowry

McClatchy Washington Bureau

November 20, 2016 04:32 PM

Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state whose hardline immigration stance has caught the attention of Donald Trump, will meet with the president-elect on Sunday.
Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state whose hardline immigration stance has caught the attention of Donald Trump, will meet with the president-elect on Sunday.
WASHINGTON

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach met with President-elect Donald Trump for about 45 minutes on Sunday afternoon.

Trump has been hosting a series of meetings at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, this weekend as he crafts his cabinet. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani also met with Trump on Sunday.

Trump greeted Kobach at his door Sunday afternoon and then later walked him out.

And it's over. At 3:20, @realdonaldtrump walked Kris Kobach out.

— Anita Kumar (@anitakumar01) November 20, 2016

Numerous patriots will be coming to Bedminster today as I continue to fill out the various positions necessary to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2016

It’s unclear at this point whether Kobach, who advised Trump on immigration throughout the campaign, will be offered a position in Trump’s administration. If he’s hired, it is likely that Kobach would have some role related to immigration policy.

According to an account provided by the Trump transition team late Sunday, Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with Kobach “to discuss border security, international terrorism, and reforming federal bureaucracy.”

If he’s hired, it is likely that Kobach would have some role in the administration related to immigration policy.

Kelly Arnold, the Kansas state Republican chairman, said that Kobach has helped frame the national debate over immigration and said Kobach has given states tools to combat illegal immigration.

“It’s been frustrating for states because it seems like we haven’t had much help from the federal government in tackling illegal immigration,” Arnold said.

Kobach crafted SB 1070, the controversial Arizona law that requires law enforcement officers to demand to see the papers of anyone they suspected of being in the country illegally, a policy that critics have denounced as racial profiling.

He also crafted a Kansas law that requires voters to provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, when they register to vote.

Both laws have faced numerous legal challenges and portions of them have been struck down in court.

Arnold said that Kobach could now have “a national opportunity” to fight illegal immigration.

“The fact that he’s being considered for a key position in the Trump administration is just a wonderful thing for Kansas,” Arnold said.

Trump has already picked another Kansan, Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo of Wichita, to serve as CIA director.

Lowry, of the Wichita Eagle, reported from Topeka, Kansas. Curtis Tate and Vera Bergengruen contributed to this story from Washington.