Kris Kobach

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Kris Kobach is currently the Secretary of State of Kansas. He previously served in the justice department under Bush, was a chief architect of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), a program that was widely regarded by the media at the time as a Muslim registry. He has been rumored to be on the shortlist for different cabinet positions under the Trump administration, but is reportedly most likely to lead the Department of Homeland Security.[1]


Voting-rights lawsuit

In September 2016, Kobach was ordered to appear at a court hearing for allegedly violating a court order in an ongoing voting-rights lawsuit. The law suit concerned a 2013 stringent 'voter fraud law' for Kansas that required voters to submit proof of citizenship in addition to completing the standard federal form for voter registration, and which Kobach had helped draft. The court, however, stated that 'there is precious little record evidence' that lifting the requirement will result in 'fraudulent registration by non-citizens'. Moreover, since a great number of Kansans could not access the ID required by the state, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a law suit against in, claiming that it had disenfranchised valid voters. The september hearing was called as Kobach has allegedly failed to comply with the ensuing court order to register about 18,000 people who registered to vote but did not have the necessary ID. [2]


Reimplementation of the NSEERS

Only a few days after Trump was elected in 2016, Kobach, considered for the post of attorney general at the time, said in an interview that Trump’s policy advisers had discussed drafting a proposal for his consideration to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries. The said program program had been abandoned in 2011, deemed redundant by Homeland Security and denounced by civil rights groups for unfairly targeting immigrants from Muslim-majority nations. Trump himself said he supports 'extreme vetting' of Muslims entering the United States as a national security measure. [3]

On November 22nd 2016, he was photographed carrying documents into a meeting with the president-elect that outlined aggressive proposals to bar the entry of Syrian refugees and reinstate a national registry focused on Muslims. Photographic evidence also showed plans for 'extreme vetting questions for high-risk aliens', including whether they 'support Sharia law, jihad, equality of men and women, [and] the United States Constitution'. Trump had shown approval for an ideological test for Muslims seeking entry into the US during his campaign. [1]

Anti-immigration laws at the Mexican border

Kobach said in an interview that the new administration could push ahead rapidly on construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall without seeking immediate congressional approval, and that they would attempt to overturn Barack Obama’s 2012 executive action that has granted temporary deportation relief and work permits to more than 700,000 undocumented people. Trump himself states that once he took office, he would remove immigrants with criminal records who are in the country illegally.

Kobach already has a history of drafting laws and pursuing legal actions to crack down on illegal immigration. He helped draft an Arizona law that required state and local officials to check the immigration status of individuals stopped by police in 2010, before parts of it were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. In Kansas, 2013, he pushed a law requiring voters to provide proof-of-citizenship documents, such as birth certificates or U.S. passports. A U.S. appeals court blocked that law after challenges from civil rights groups. Regarding his views, he believes that illegal immigrants in some cases should be deported before a conviction if they have been charged with a violent crime. [3]

It also appeared, in an April 2016 interview, that Kobach has helped draft Donald Trump's policy to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. [4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sabrina Siddiqui, Trump cabinet contender accidentally unveils hardline anti-refugee proposals, Guardian, 22 November 2016. Accessed 23 November 2016.
  2. Brian Lowry, Federal judge sets contempt hearing for Kobach, Wichita Eagle, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016. Accessed 23 November 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mica Rosenberg and Julia Edwards Ainsley Reported Trump Immigration Advisor And Potential Attorney General Is Drafting Plan For Muslim Registry, Huffington Post, 16 November 2016. Accessed 17 November 2016.
  4. Eliza Collins, Kobach: I helped write Trump's border wall plan, Politico, 11 April 2016. Accessed 23 November 2016.