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28 Jun

Kris Kobach, Romney Immigration Advisor

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Five Things to Know About the Romney Advisor Responsible for Arizona’s Illegal Attack on Immigrants

By Ian Millhiser

It’s time to get to know Kris Kobach, the author of Arizona’s SB1070 law and Romney immigration advisor, whose work was largely gutted by the Supreme Court on Monday. Unfortunately the one portion upheld by the Court may still encourage racial profiling by Arizona police during traffic stops and other minor infractions. Codifying racial profiling is essential to Kobach’s long-term strategy of “attrition through enforcement”. But just who is Kris Kobach and what does he really believe?

Here are the top five things you should really know about Kobach,

1.       He works for an arm of a racist hate group whose stated purpose is to reduce the number of people of color in the United States. Kris Kobach is of counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, which is the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which the Southern Poverty Law Center labels a hate group. Kobach’s boss at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, Michael Hethmon, openly argues that the United States’s transition to a country where the majority of its citizens are people of color will lead to violence. And the founder of Federation for American Immigration Reform, John Tanton wrote, “I‘ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority and a clear one at that.”

2.       He is virulently anti-gay. Kobach uses divisive politics and has grouped gays and lesbians together with pedophiles. During his 2004 run for Congress, Kobach accused the a leading gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, of promoting “homosexual pedophilia” in an attempt to smear his opponent.

3.       He’s birther-curious. In his run for Kansas Secretary of State, Kobach raised the question of whether President Barack Obama’s “short-form” birth certificate was sufficient to prove his citizenship. Later, when called on it, Kobach backtracked and said that he believed in the president’s citizenship but still maintained that questioning his birth certificate was valid.

4.       He’s cashing in. When Kobach takes his anti-immigrant show on the road, he makes a pile of money representing local communities, often running up huge bills. Kobach co-wrote anti-immigrant laws across the country from Farmer’s Branch, Texas to Fremont, Nebraska to Prince William County, Virginia toHazelton, Pennsylvania to Valley Park, Missouri to Arizona and Alabama. Kobach’s efforts have netted him more than $6.6 million in legal fees. And while serving as Kansas Secretary of State, Kobach appeared on out-of-state media at least 101 times in just one year, with an astonishing 31 appearances just on Lou Dobbs’ shows.

5.       He’s anti-democracy. Kobach ran for Kansas chief elections officer on a flimsy voter fraud platform. Using non-existent cases of alleged voter fraud as an excuse, Kobach pushed a law that will disenfranchise thousands of Kansans. He claimed that his voter ID law does not suppress the vote of citizens and especially minority citizens when in reality the opposite is true. After getting this law passed, Kobach resisted efforts necessary to make it possible for citizens who lacked an ID to get one for free, as the law required.

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