Here is your necessary reminder that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, patron saint of racist voter ID laws, is bad. Kobach could barely contain his glee after the Trump Administration announced on Tuesday that it would be rescinding DACA, a move that threatens around 800,000 people who have known no other home than America with deportation.
In 2012, President Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order, granting those who entered the US illegally as minors permission to work and study in the US after an extensive vetting process. What was Kobach’s callous advice to DREAMers, who were brought to the United States as children and teenagers? “Go home and get in line,” he said on MSNBC on Tuesday. “Come into the United States legally, then get a greencard, then become a citizen.”
On Wednesday, he went one step further and argued that the families of DACA recipients also be targeted for deportation, too. “They came in presumably with a parent or parents, and so the correct policy is for us to enforce federal law and deport the whole family to the home country,” he said on CNN. “The idea that somehow it’s wrong to ask people to go back to their home country and to come in the right way, I just fundamentally disagree with that.”
Remember that Kobach isn’t a rogue voice on TV; he is the guy helping lead Trump’s shadowy Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, an effort to collect sensitive voter data that is likely tied to Trump’s bogus claim that millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally in the election. Kobach has also been the biggest supporter of Trump’s baseless voter fraud claim and, as an advisor, recommended the “extreme vetting” of Muslims to Trump during his presidential campaign.
Kobach is also the architect of a host of anti-immigration and voter ID laws around the country, most notably Arizona’s SB 1070, which enabled police officers to demand identification of people they suspected to be here illegally. He also helped train the discriminatory officers of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a racist, criminally negligent megalomaniac who was pardoned by Donald Trump. In Kansas, where he introduced sweeping voter ID laws, he was nearly held in contempt of court for failing to add 18,000 voters to rolls.
Though Congress will ultimately determine the fate of DACA recipients in the months to come, federal agencies have sensitive personal information about nearly one million undocumented immigrants. And Kobach, who has been consistently anti-immigration throughout his career, now has the backing of the federal government.