Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been called a lot of things, including racist and anti-immigrant. It’s little wonder as Kobach has continued to gleefully spew his hard line anti-immigration sentiments to the president-elect as counsel with the Immigration Law Reform Institute, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, ever since his election.
But it’s not surprisingly, given Trump’s vitriolic anti-immigrant stance during his campaign, when he vowed to build a big beautiful wall and deport millions, and his cabinet outreach to many alt-right white men.
Kobach, who fits the profile of alt-right to the letter, has said no undocumented immigrant would get a free pass in this country and recommended Trump fulfill his campaign pledge on deporting undocumented immigrants by deputizing local police officers to implement U.S. immigration law. This suggestion comes after his 2012 immigration plan of self-deportation cost Mitt Romney the 2012 election and after the controversial racist Arizona SB 1070 immigration plan.
The new plan being sold to Trump, as reported by USA Today, is dubbed the 287(g) program. It would allow the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to train local police officers and deputy sheriffs to locate and detain undocumented immigrants residing in their areas.
The program is a throwback to the 1996 Congress and was used by former President George W. Bush. By 2010, local police officers in 24 states were trained by ICE to respond to crime scenes, make traffic stops and inspect local jails to check suspects’ immigration status.
But President Barack Obama phased this program out. allowing police officers now to only check immigration status of only those already in local jails and not of people out on the street, which equates to racial profiling. Kobach’s proposal suggested the program cover “at least 70 cities and counties” according to USA Today, and ironically comes as Trump seems to be softening his stance, putting no emphasis on a border wall or deportation force in his 100-day plan and telling The New York Times he is for a “fair” immigration law.
Perhaps Trump is listening to most Americans who say immigration is not a big deal to them. It is now time that Kobach and his xenophobic cohorts listen to most of the American voters and not just the racists who have already built their walls high.
This sentiment is not just that of advocates waging a rallying cry for a fairer immigration plan, but is according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll. Many Americans polled recently say they would like to see undocumented immigrants stay in the country and get a chance to become citizens.
The response, 60 percent, was the highest since the Quinnipiac Poll started asking the question four years ago. Another 12 percent of American voters say undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay, but not become citizens, and 25 percent say they should be deported.
Kobach and the other immigration hard liners bent on ridding America of Brown and Black immigrants would do best to listen, as would Trump, especially if he is serious about bringing the country together and passing a “fair” immigration plan. We the People are watching!
The writer if CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc.