Kris Kobach Pushes Hard-Line Immigration Policy on GOP Platform and Wins

Aug 23, 2012
10:37 AM

So much for the moderate stance on immigration that the Romney campaign has been trying to promote the last few months in its quest to gain more support particularly among US Latino voters. Tuesday, Politico ran a piece confirming that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—the architect behind laws such as Arizona's SB 1070—pushed for a hard-line immigration policy to be placed on the GOP's official 2012 platform. And he succeeded.

This is what Politico reported:

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach persuaded the Republican platform committee Tuesday to toughen its language on immigration.

“We recognize that if you really want to create a job tomorrow, you can remove an illegal alien today,” he told the 100-plus representatives to the committee. “That is the way to open up jobs very quickly for U.S. citizen workers and lawfully admitted alien workers.”

The committee agreed to restore 2008 platform planks that didn’t appear in a draft prepared by Republican National Committee staff, who worked in close consultation with Mitt Romney’s campaign.

The platform committee overwhelmingly voted to add language proposed by Kobach calling for the completion of a border fence, the end of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and an end to sanctuary cities. It also voted to support national E-Verify, an Internet database run by the federal government that makes it harder for undocumented workers to get jobs.

Recently, Romney and his campaign attempted to soften their stance on immigration, after a primary season where his comments about border fences and Arizona being a "model for the nation" turned off many US Latino voters who were looking for alternatives to President Obama (whose immigration record hasn't been the most stellar, either).

Nonetheless, it looks like Romney is going with the same draft picks that got him to the big stage. Kobach made sure to align himself with Romney, when he said the following:

These positions are consistent with the Romney campaign. As you all will remember one of the primary reasons that Gov. Romney rose past Gov. [Rick] Perry when Mr. Perry was achieving first place in the polls was because of his opposition to in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

Kobach has been a busy man this week. After getting the immigration platform approved on Tuesday, today he filed a lawsuit in Dallas against the Obama administration on behalf of 10 ICE employees who claim that the president's deferred action plan violates federal law. This is what AZ Central reported:

Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, filed the lawsuit on behalf of 10 ICE employees Thursday in federal court in Dallas. The 22-page filing contends that the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan violates federal law and forces ICE employees to break the law by not arresting certain illegal immigrants. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton are named as defendants. 

"It places ICE agents in an untenable position where their political superiors are ordering them to violate federal law," Kobach said. "If they follow federal law, they will be disciplined by their superiors."

Kobach, who also advised Arizona lawmakers on the state's controversial immigration bill, said he is representing the employees as a private lawyer and not in his capacity as a Kansas state official. He wrote in the lawsuit that ICE agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal immigrants who claim to be eligible for the administration's new deportation policy.