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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."


booklover2 5 years ago

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

avarom 4 years, 12 months ago

Guess Tanton conveniently forgot........ he came from immigrants.....lol

texburgh 5 years 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.

srothschild 5 years ago

Texburgh -- I didn't mention it in the post, but Kobach's written testimony opens, "Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, although I serve as Kansas Secretary of State, I come before you today chiefly in my capacity as former Counsel to United States Attorney General John Ashcroft, and as an attorney representing cities and states that have successfully reduced illegal immigration within their jurisdictions."

texburgh 4 years, 12 months ago

Still, he does not say he is NOT REPRESENTING the state of Kansas - "I come chiefly in my capacity as former..." He says he is the KS SOS, comes "chiefly in another capacity." He needs to say that he does not represent the state of Kansas in this hearing.

Jayhawks64 5 years 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.

srothschild 5 years ago

Jayhawks64 -- I didn't include it because whenever Kobach testifies at a public meeting, he is the Kansas secretary of state. The same would apply to other elected officials. Since someone asked specifically about it, I thought it would be proper to respond that Kobach said he was testifying based on his former job with the attorney general's office and his current practice working with other states on immigration issues. There is no agenda here on my part. Kobach is the secretary of state and he testifies often on immigration issues in Kansas and elsewhere.

Jayhawks64 5 years ago

I appreciate the response, but it is weak. His full quote changes the entire tone of the article.

chootspa 5 years ago

Don't let the trolls get you down. You do a fine job of reporting.

Jayhawks64 5 years ago

I write a comment and that makes me a troll? Guess the whole reply thing is full of trolls.

chootspa 4 years, 12 months ago

You just wrote a comment, huh? You didn't also add that it was a hostile comment accusing the reporter of deliberately biased reporting. Of course you didn't because that doesn't help your agenda. Maybe you should edit your post to include this important fact.

That said, I did use a plural "s," because you're not the only person who comes on here just to accuse him or, snerk, the entire paper of being biased every time reality doesn't reflect the desired outcome.

deec 4 years, 12 months ago

If every anti-immigrant citizen would just stop patronizing businesses that use undocumented workers, and vocally let the businesses know why they are boycotting, the situation would be greatly alleviated. They can start with pretty much all American meats, fruits and vegetables. Most restaurant chains hire folks with questionable papers as well. Farmland is a good starting point. The meat factory near my home is rumored to have signs offering employment near the Mexican border.


verity 4 years, 12 months ago

"The only people who oppse this would be people wanting to skirt the law."

The laws Kobach has authored also affect legally naturalized citizens who not only want to follow the law but must do so in order to survive in this country---see my post below.

We need workable laws, not knee jerk laws that do more harm than good. And that is the problem with what Kobach does.

Shelley Bock 4 years, 12 months ago

Since more people are returning to Mexico than coming into the US, how is that still an "open border"?

Undocumented types working in the US do cut into available jobs and decrease wages. On the other hand, many of the jobs would go begging because Americans won't work them. If they weren't taken by undocumented types, they wouldn't be filled.

Howard Coatney 5 years 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.

Shelley Bock 5 years ago

And, I have heard at various times that there is $50 billion dollars or more that has been paid for social security tax which goes unassigned because the numbers are faulty for individuals who appear to be latinos.

Anthony Mall 5 years 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!

jayhawxrok 4 years, 12 months ago

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

buffalo63 4 years, 12 months ago

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

Patricia Davis 4 years, 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.

verity 4 years, 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

verity 4 years, 12 months 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 4 years, 12 months 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.

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