Topeka Kris Kobach, who helped write the controversial immigration law in Arizona, says terrorists are streaming over the United States-Mexico border, armed Mexican cartels have taken over some territory on the U.S. side, and that some Democrats support illegal immigration because they see potential voters.
Kobach’s comments were made during a wide-ranging talk that he gave last week in the Statehouse at the National Security Begins in the Great Plains conference, which was organized by several groups that are outspoken about illegal immigration. They include the Federal Immigration Reform and Enforcement (FIRE) Coalition, the Patriot Coalition and the November Patriots.
“This is a really big security threat,” said Kobach, who is a former Kansas Republican Party chairman and candidate for the GOP nomination for secretary of state.
He is also a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and has served under former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.
He has taken a lead role nationally in helping craft legislation and defend in court several measures against illegal immigration, including the new law in Arizona that allows police to question suspects about their citizenship. The law has created a national uproar, with critics saying it violates the Constitution’s provisions against unreasonable search and seizure and will lead to racial profiling. Supporters say it follows the Constitution and is needed because the federal government is doing a poor job of keeping out illegal immigrants.
Kobach said the issue of stopping illegal immigrants at the border is a matter of national security. In 2005, the Border Patrol captured 3,722 people crossing from Mexico into the United States who were from countries that are considered state sponsors of terrorism, Kobach said. He said that probably represents one-fourth of the total from those countries who entered the United States illegally.
He said President Barack Obama’s recent commitment of 1,200 National Guard troops to the border area was “too little, too late.” Kobach said at least 10,000 troops should be sent and some of those should be used to take back hills in remote border areas that are controlled by Mexican drug cartels. “There are parts of American soil controlled by cartels,” he said.
Kobach also said the federal government needs to finish building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. He said the wall should stretch across the entire 1,952-mile border.
He said some Democrats oppose securing the border because they have calculated that at some point amnesty will be approved, allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens, and then those people will vote for Democrats.
“They want as many voters as possible,” he said.
Asked by a member in the audience what the state of Kansas should do, Kobach recommended the passage of two measures that have been approved in Arizona. One is the recent immigration law, and the other is a measure that requires that employers check a worker’s eligibility to work in the U.S. through the E-Verify system, which is a free, online federal database. Opponents of using E-Verify say it is sometimes inaccurate and is of little use when a worker uses phony or stolen documents. An E-Verify proposal in Kansas was shot down at the behest of business groups.
Kobach concluded that problems along the border with Mexico pose a major terroristic threat to the United States, and added, “Every state is a border state now.”