Trump Could Get Kris Kobach Into a key Immigration Post

How Trump could get Kris Kobach around the Senate and into a key immigration job


 key Immigration Post

Groups that want President-elect Donald Trump to make good on his campaign promise to rein in illegal immigration may have found a way to get a key ally into a pivotal job – while getting around a potentially reluctant Congress.

They are urging Trump to hire Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state and an immigration hardliner, for a newly created position – immigration czar – that would not need Senate confirmation.

“We have been pushing them,” said Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a group that advocates for greater immigration enforcement. “The idea has been percolating in a number of places.”

The proposal would put one person in charge of an issue that impacts a dozen departments and agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, State, Justice, Labor, Housing and Health and Human Services.

Kobach, a member of Trump’s transition team who has met with the future president twice in recent weeks, had been considered for attorney general and homeland security secretary.

But Kobach could face confirmation problems. Republicans who have more moderate views on immigration would be unlikely to support him. They include Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, both of Arizona.

“It’s designed to put Kris Kobach in a position of authority,” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, an immigration advocacy group. “It’s widely recognized that Kris Kobach can’t be confirmed by the United States Senate.” Full Story

President Donald Trump says he’s open to a large-scale immigration reform bill if Republicans and Democrats can reach a compromise. But he forgot the biggest obstacle to a deal: his own policies and the revulsion they’ve already fueled among Democrats.

Trump stormed into the White House with a vow to crack down on undocumented immigrants and promptly followed through — alienating advocates of more generous immigration policy. Not only will Trump struggle to persuade Democrats to come to the table, but it’s also not even clear they’re in the same room.

“If he’s serious, he should give us evidence and say, ‘I’m going to stop the deportations,’” said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, a key player in past immigration reform efforts. The Illinois Democrat said Trump needs to stand up to his hard-line immigration brain trust — Attorney General Jeff Sessions, chief strategist Steve Bannon and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — whom Gutierrez called the “three principal heads of xenophobia.”

Even Trump’s critics were caught off guard by how quickly he moved to implement sweeping campaign promises, including the executive orders to build a wall on the southern border; to greatly broaden the pool of people likely to be deported; temporarily restrict citizens of several majority-Muslim nations from entering the U.S.; and suspend the refugee resettlement program. Full Story

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