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Kobach testifies against immigration bill before U.S. Senate committee


Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was in Washington, D.C., yesterday testifying against an immigration bill before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kobach cited the recent Boston Marathon bombing as one of several reasons he opposed the proposed legislation, saying that the bill provided insufficient background checks to prevent terrorists from gaining amnesty.

According to his written testimony, Kobach said that under the bill "any illegal alien can invent a new name with a totally clean record and present that name when applying for the amnesty.

"In other words, an alien who has a terrorist background can call himself `Rumpelstiltskin' without having to prove that that is his real name."

He said marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a shoot-out with police, was able to travel internationally and gain terrorist training before returning to the United States.

Supporters of the immigration bill, however, say it will strengthen security by increasing border security and enforcement. The measure would also require employers to check their workers' legal status, and it would provide a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants now here illegally.

Kobach has worked with several cities and states, such as Arizona, in passing measures aimed at reducing illegal immigration.

His use of the term "self-deportation," to describe the departure of undocumented workers because of tough immigration enforcement laws became an issue during the November presidential campaign. Kobach was an adviser on immigration issues to Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who also used the term "self-deportation." Some have said that hurt Romney among Hispanic voters.

During Tuesday's committee meeting, Kobach got into a discussion about "self-deportation" with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Kobach said, "Self-deportation is not some radical idea. It is simply the idea that people may comply with the law by their own choice.

"Self-deportation is something that Arizona has proven that if you ratchet up the penalties for violating the law, people chose to leave and it has been proven that they do that."

But Durbin said, "The voters had the last word on self-deportation on Nov. 6, so we're beyond that now. You can stick with that theory as long as you'd like, but I think what we are talking about now is whether America is a better country if we have an immigration system that brings 11 million people out of the shadows, to register with this government, so we know who they are, where they are, do a criminal background check, or whether we leave them in the shadows."


verity 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I might add that adults involved in this situation and who have traveled in Russia and had experience with the way of life there say that the U.S. is feeling more and more like Russia---and these are lifelong Republicans.


verity 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Unfortunately, the laws Kobach has gotten passed have probably hurt legals more than illegals. If you are a naturalized citizen and your birth certificate states you were born in another country, you have to jump through hoops for a number of things, showing your citizenship/naturalization papers. Now this form can't be copied and would be very complicated to replace, so you keep it in a safety deposit box and retrieve it whenever you need to use it and just hope that the officials don't misplace it.

I have teenage cousins who are in the process of getting their driver's licenses---learner's permit, tests, etc., and have to go to a county seat that has full services, which is about a three hour or more round trip. They have to take their naturalization papers with them every time. Then they will be told they need something else which they weren't told about beforehand and have to make a second trip.

They will have to get passports before they go to Arizona from Kansas this summer as you don't want teenage boys carrying something irreplaceable on a trip. They have been warned by a person living there (also naturalized) that they must carry the passports with them at all times in case they get stopped.

Side note: The oldest took his written test the day before school started so there were a lot of people taking the test that day. The woman giving the test noted that the "naturalized kid" was the only one who passed the test the first time.


verity 12 months ago

"You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering."

The Doctor - Tom Baker


Patricia Davis 12 months ago

I agree buffalo63. To my knowledge Kobach is not a native American surname. He obviously came from somewhere else. As far as his misleading introduction to who he is a the hearing, it's a bit like those big trucks that say they are not responsible for broken windshields. Nice try. But saying doesn't make it so.


buffalo63 12 months ago

Seems to me Kris Kobach is a made-up name. Anyone check that out yet?


benofthebull 12 months ago

Kobach was given the business by an Indigenous Kansas rep from Wichita; Ponka-We Victors. She had the crowd cheering and Kobach speechless. She told Kobach that when he says illegal immigrants she thinks of Kobach, burn..


jayhawxrok 12 months ago

Gawd, I'm so sick of Brownback and his little racist lap dog, Kobach.


reality_check79 12 months ago

It is harder for a heart surgeon from France (who can directly benefit this country), than it is for someone from a war torn country that has anti-american views to get into this country. That's a problem... Unemployment is back on the rise, people are allowed to accept benefits for 99weeks (INSANITY), a budget crisis, people being let go everyday (civilian/govt), and somehow some people still say "open the border". Absolutely crazy!


benofthebull 12 months ago

Kobach was shut up and forced to sit down with no rebuttal at the Kansas House meeting for in-state tuition to children of illegal immigrants few weeks back from Indigenous Representative from Wichita, Ponka-We Victors; "That's funny because when you say illegal immigrants, I think of you." The crowd then cheered and Kobach shut his notebook and sat down....burn!


get_involved 12 months ago

E-mail and/or call your Congressman.............ESPECIALLY IF YOUR CONGRESSMAN IS A REPUBLICAN...........and tell him or her NO to ANY type of legalization. Some type of legalization probably will be passed in the Senate.......however the House of Representatives is a different story where the Republicans are the majority. THE REPUBLICANS will decide the issue.....for or against it (For you partisan types this is just the facts). 99% of Democrats are for legalization so pounding the Republicans is the only way to stop it.


ANYTHING THAT ALLOWS ILLEGALS TO STAY AND WORK PERMANENTLY IN THE U.S. IS AMNESTY! That's all you have to say. Don't worry how well you write or speak. All that matters is that the clowns hear from a lot of people. If a lot of people complain they get nervous.


littlehec 12 months ago

I'm always hearing how "illegals don't pay any taxes". I've stood behind many of those you'd define as illegal in the walmart or supermarket checkout lanes, and I've yet to hear a cashier say "Say, aren't you illegal? Don't you know you don't have to pay sales tax?" They always pay their sales tax like everybody else. Also, the cars they drive appear to be legally registered, so they've also paid their property tax. Typically the wage earner in the "illegal" household doesn't make enough money to necessitate they pay federal income tax. So saying they "pay no taxes" is a lie.


Agnostick 12 months ago

Okay, so the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was represented at the committee meeting. Who else showed up?


PwopellewCap 12 months ago

Not a fan of Kobach but I don't have a problem with reducing illegal immigrant entry into our country -- for security reasons as well as the fact that I don't want to pay for their hand-out healthcare or their kids' schooling when they aren't paying any taxes here. If you want to come to the US - or any country for that matter - do it legally or not at all! Easy enough to understand. The only people who oppse this would be people wanting to skirt the law.


Jayhawks64 12 months ago

Scott, Of course you didn't because that doesn't help your agenda. Maybe you should edit your post to include this important fact.


texburgh 12 months ago

And I guess we paid this xenophobic fascist while he was doing this. I want to know for a fact that his pay and benefits were docked for the time he spent on this including travel time. I saw no where in the article any mention of telling congress he was there as an individual and not representing the state of Kansas.


booklover2 12 months ago

And so the embarrassment of our Kansas public officials continues...


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