Kris Kobach

Kobach: Maybe Obama Opposes Proof Of Citizenship Laws Because He's Not A Citizen

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the influential anti-immigration operative who has been involved in both Donald Trump’s border wall policy and the immigration case currently before the Supreme Court, called into question President Obama’s birthplace on his radio program this weekend.

In response to a caller who wondered if the Obama administration’s opposition to restrictive voting laws such as a proof-of-citizenship requirement in Kansas is because the president himself is “not a citizen of the United States,” Kobach said that there are “interesting things” about the question of Obama’s citizenship that “just made you scratch your head.” He added that “maybe” the caller’s theory about the president’s opposition to voting restrictions was correct.

Kobach was speaking on his radio program on Kansas City’s KCMO on Sunday about a column in the Kansas City Star — which Kobach calls the “Kansas City Red Star” — blasting him for his role in enacting restrictive voting laws in Kansas and around the nation, when a listener identified as “Jim from Iowa” called in.

Jim told Kobach he didn’t understand “what the big deal” was about a law championed by Kobach requiring people to present proof of citizenship when registering to vote “because our president, his little grandma said he was born in Africa, he waited two years before he sent out that fake birth certificate, he got a scholarship to a place, a college in California that only gives it to foreigners, so what’s the difference?”

(Just to be clear, Obama’s grandmother did not say he was born in Kenya,his birth certificate is not fake, and he did not get a scholarship meant for foreign students.)

At first, Kobach didn’t address the birther issue, noting instead that Obama is indeed “opposed to Kansas” and “doesn’t like voter ID laws.”

But the caller persisted, saying, “He’s not going to bring up proof of citizenship because he’s not a citizen of the United States, he’s not supposed to be the president, his own grandma said he was born in Africa, what else do you need? And that birth certificate thing was all fake, it took him two years, like I said, to get it sent out. How did he get the scholarship to that college in California that only foreign people get it? How did he get that? How come everybody lets it go?”

“You know, you’re right,” Kobach responded, “and of course that issue’s kind of water under the bridge these days, but there were some interesting things. Like there was that one thing, it just made you scratch your head, there was that one thing that the Harvard Law Journal printed which described Barack Obama as a ‘young student born in Kenya.’ Now, he says that was wrong, and maybe it was wrong, but anyway, maybe you’re right, maybe that’s why he doesn’t talk about proof of citizenship, because he, you know, he would rather not bring up the citizenship issue. Of course, now he’s got nothing to worry about, he’s in office for the remaining year.”

(We don’t know what head-scratching “Harvard Law Journal” article Kobach was referring to, but he could have been getting it mixed up with a promotional flier for one of Obama’s books that mistakenly described him as being born in Kenya, which birthers have made much of.)

When Jim asked if Obama could still “get in trouble” for lying about his birthplace, Kobach responded that “at this point there’s not really any forum in which the facts will be further” examined.

“Well, why didn’t everybody do something about this eight years ago?” Jim demanded.

“Well,” Kobach said, “as you may recall, there was quite a kerfuffle about it back then.”

“Did you notice everybody that was complaining, they shut up like overnight?” Jim said. “I think they were all threatened just like Old Lady Clinton threatens everybody if you don’t do what she wants. I think they’re all threatened, that’s why they all shut up real fast.”

“Well, who knows?” Kobach said. “That whole issue has been a truly strange one, that’s for sure.”

Perhaps they will have to wait until Trump, Kobach’s preferred candidate for president, fulfills his promise to write a book about Obama’s real birthplace.

Kris Kobach, Mastermind Of Anti-Immigrant Policies, Helped Write Trump's Border Wall Plan

Kris Kobach, a former Bush administration attorney who is now the secretary of state of Kansas, helped write Arizona's SB1070, the state's infamous anti-immigrant "show me your papers" law. He helped Alabama craft one of the most disastrous anti-immigrant laws in the U.S. In his home state, Kobach has raised the specter of undocumented immigrants committing voter fraud in an attempt to justify a "proof of citizenship" law that has kept tens of thousands of Kansans from registering to vote. In 2012, he advised Mitt Romney on his infamous "self-deportation" policy. When politicians want help cracking down on undocumented immigrants, and they don't mind going about it in creatively cruel ways, Kobach is their go-to guy.

So it should come as absolutely no surprise that when Donald Trump announced an astonishingly cruel plan to attempt to make Mexico pay for a wall at the southern border by holding hostage the money that Mexican immigrants send home to their family members, it was Kobach who was behind it.

When Kobach endorsed Trump back in February, he offered a version of what became the GOP frontrunner's plan for the wall:

“We have the ability to shut down the flow of remittances to Mexico from illegal aliens working in the United States,” he said. “Mexico will then have to make a choice: Either make a single payment of $5 billion to $10 billion to the United States to pay for the wall, or lose most of the $23 billion in remittances that Mexico receives every year from its nationals working illegally in the United States.”

Now Kobach says that he was in fact the one behind Trump's plan to seize remittances:

In an interview, Kobach said Trump’s focus on remittances — money sent by individuals in the U.S. to friends and family in other countries — is consistent with what he had been advising the campaign. He said he has spoken with the campaign directly, and Trump himself, about immigration.

“Mr. Trump was receptive to that idea and I think he’s an excellent negotiator and he looks for opportunities to put pressure on opposing parties in negotiations and this fits the bill,” Kobach said.

...

The path outlined by Trump is a more detailed version of what Kobach proposed in February when he endorsed the candidate. During an interview Friday, when directed to Trump’s plan on his campaign website, Kobach said he had drafted portions of the document. The Trump campaign didn’t respond to a request to elaborate on Kobach’s involvement with formulating Trump’s position on paying for the wall.

“I have been in touch with Mr. Trump directly and his campaign team about this issue,” Kobach said.

Trump's plan, like many ideas originating with Kobach, would not only be unnecessarily cruel but could also be a logistical nightmare and an economic disaster, one that would probably end up increasing the rate of Mexican immigration into the U.S.

EAC Official Who Helped Make Voting Harder Linked To Voter Suppression Architect Kris Kobach

The AP reports today that Brian Newby, the Election Assistance Commission executive director who in February singlehandedly helped Kansas, Georgia and Alabama make it harder to vote using federal voter registration forms, was placed in his job in part thanks to the efforts of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of voter suppression measures throughout the country.

In 2011, Kobach helped push through a law in his state requiring people registering to vote to present one of a narrow list of “proof of citizenship” documents, which led tens of thousands of Kansans to have their voter registrations suspended when they tried to sign up to vote in last year’s elections. Kobach was locked in a years-long battled with the EAC over federal voter registration forms, which did not require voters to present the same proof of citizenship, even attempting to create a two-tiered voting system in which people who registered with the federal form were barred from voting in state and local elections. Then, in February, Newby decided that people registering with the federal voter registration form in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama would have to present extra proof of citizenship, handing a major win to Kobach.

So, it is not entirely surprising to learn that it is Kobach who helped Newby to get his job at the EAC:

An email provided to The Associated Press through open records requests offers a glimpse into the mindset of Brian Newby, executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, who decided — without public comment or approval from bosses — that residents of Alabama, Kansas and Georgia can no longer register to vote using a national form without providing proof of U.S. citizenship.

As a finalist for the job of executive director, Newby said in a June email to his benefactor, Kansas' Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, that he was friends with two of the commissioners at the federal agency, and told Kobach: "I think I would enter the job empowered to lead the way I want to."

Documents obtained by AP show Newby's ties to Kobach, the architect of voter ID and other restrictive voter registration laws around the nation that he says are needed to prevent voter fraud. Critics say there is very little voter fraud and Kobach's measures hurt voter registration and deprive eligible voters of the right to vote.

Kobach had appointed Newby to be a county elections commissioner in Kansas, and helped him get the federal job that he took in November.

"I wanted you in the loop, in part because of other issues in the past with the EAC," Newby emailed Kobach. "I also don't want you thinking that you can't count on me in an upcoming period that will tax our resources."

Newby declined to comment for this story about the email, referring questions to a commission spokesman, Bryan Whitener, who declined comment. Newby was hired by the three sitting commissioners.

Kobach said Wednesday that he spoke to one, and possibly two of the Republican commissioners, about Newby prior to his hiring.

"I told that person I thought Newby would be excellent and he was one of Kansas' most talented county election officers and indeed one of the most talented election officers in country," Kobach said.

But documents from open records requests and interviews by AP show that as early as April 2015 and continuing in the months leading to Newby's hiring by the commission, Kobach and his staff met with county officials to discuss concerns about Newby's job performance in Kansas. Those concerns led officials to call for an audit of the Johnson County election office Newby led.

Kobach told AP he never informed the federal commissioners about those problems, and insisted they would not have affected Newby's performance at his federal job.

The audit released earlier this month found Newby intentionally skirted oversight of government credit card expenses, wasted taxpayer funds and improperly claimed mileage and travel expenses while at his former job in Kansas. Newby has called the audit inaccurate and misleading.

Another Right-Wing Extremist With White Nationalist Ties Endorses Donald Trump

It comes as no surprise that Donald Trump would pick up the endorsement of anti-immigrant hardliner and conspiracy theorist Kris Kobach, who announced his support for the GOP presidential frontrunner in a statement today.

Kobach, who serves as the Secretary of State of Kansas, a talk radio host and an anti-immigrant legal activist, said that he is specifically endorsing Trump because of the billionaire mogul’s immigration stance, boasting that he told Trump that the PATRIOT Act “contains a provision that the United States can and should use as leverage with the Government of Mexico” to make them pay for the proposed border wall.

Back in 2012, Mitt Romney tapped Kobach, the architect of anti-immigrant laws throughout the U.S., to serve as an adviser on immigration policy in his campaign.

As Peter wrote at the time,

He may be best known as the brains behind Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, and he successfully pushed for anti-immigrant language in the platform, including a call for the federal government to deny funds to universities that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition – a plank that puts Kobach and the platform at odds with Kansas law. Immigration is not Kobach’s only issue. He is an energizing force behind the Republican Party’s massive push for voter suppression laws around the country, and he led the effort to get language inserted into the platform calling on states to pass laws requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration. He also pushed language aimed at the supposed threat to the Constitution and laws of the US from “Sharia law”; getting this language into the platform puts the GOP in position of endorsing a ludicrous far-right conspiracy theory.

Kobach, who once worked for an anti-immigrant hate group, has also spoken alongside White Nationalist leaders, most recently addressing a racist media outlet called the Social Contract Press.

Kobach has also used his radio show to voice his extremist views: He warned that Latinos may one day conduct ethnic cleansing in America, claimed Democrats are “replacing American voters with newly legalized aliens” and wondered if President Obama would ban the prosecution of black people , deriding the president as the product of “affirmative action culture” and possibly a secret Muslim.

His record as secretary of state is even more troubling, as Kobach used the myth of mass voter fraud to push through stringent laws that have disenfranchised thousands of Kansans.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 2/22/16

  • Glenn Beck cannot believe that he is being mocked for merely asking the nation to "fast for Ted Cruz, our country and the Nevada caucus," especially since he's just like Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, James Madison and Ronald Reagan.
  • Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach calls the League of Women Voters “communist” for opposing his restrictive proof-of-citizenship voting law.
  • Alan Snyder says that no true Christian would ever support Donald Trump: "Those who claim to be the representatives of Jesus Christ in this woeful world need to match their words with their actions, and one of those actions is to vote according to the Biblical worldview they profess to believe in. To vote for a man like Donald Trump is to violate one’s confession of Christian faith."
  • Liberty Counsel's lawsuit against the Fairfax County School District's nondiscrimination policy which provided protection based on sexual orientiation and gender identity has been dismissed.
  • Finally, Jennifer LeClaire reveals that fellow Chrisitans are practicing witchcraft against her: "I believe people can release witchcraft word curses against you. I more than believe it, I know it because my inbox is full of them every week. People curse me, my family, my ministry and more with the wicked words of their mouth—most of the times these are Christians. A witchcraft word curse from a Christian, I believe, is more powerful than any curse from a witch because a believer's words carry an anointing."

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/12/16

Kris Kobach Wonders If Obama Is Using Syria Conflict 'As a Pretense For Opening The Door to Radical Islam'

Kris Kobach is a quietly influential Republican politician who has helped lawmakers across the country write anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures. He also serves as the secretary of state of Kansas and as a local talk radio personality, hosting a weekly radio program on Kansas City’s KCMO.

Last week, Kobach invited to his radio show Kamal Saleem, a Religious Right favorite who claims, dubiously, that he was once a leading Islamic terrorist but who is now trying to warn America that Obama’s babysitter is leading a secret Islamic shadow government and that churches will be closed in 2013. Things quickly went off the rails.

Kobach, who has previously said of Obama that “we’ve never known who this guy is or where his heart is,” told Saleem that he wonders if Obama is intentionally “putting his finger on the scale in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood or the radical Islamists.”

“It seems to me that Obama’s policies, one after another, seem to be ones that if they don’t favor radical Islamism, they open the door to people like Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood time and again,” he said. “And it just makes me wonder, is it incompetence by Obama or is he intentionally using the so-called Arab Spring as a pretense and using what’s going on in Syria as a pretense for opening the door to radical Islamism? I just, I wonder what’s going on.”

“It’s no doubt he’s throwing the grid off and the balance of the entire Middle East off-balance to create chaos for the Muslim Brotherhood to start establishing their power,” Saleem agreed.

The two also discussed the allegations popularized by Frank Gaffney that the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating the Republican Party through conservative activists Grover Norquist and Suhail Kahn.

Saleem, in a reference to the Christian dominionist Seven Mountains theology, which calls for conservative Christians to take over the “seven mountains” of culture in America, told Kobach that Muslims are “infiltrating our government little by little, with the help of our senior government, to become part of our nation to include the seven mountains of influence in the United States of America.” He lamented that there is now “Islamic leadership on every mountaintop.”

Kobach, who worked in George W. Bush’s Justice Department, said that that was “consistent with what I observed when I was in the Bush administration,” where there was “a constant effort to populate the leadership even of a Republican administration with individuals to show to the world, outwardly, that, ‘Look, we have lots of Muslim leaders within the government, don’t anyone think that this is a broader issue with Islam.’”

The two then turned to discussing what Saleem called the “infiltration of Islam into the GOP,” claiming that Norquist’s “wife is a radical Islamist.”

Saleem also claimed that Republican senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have backed a “hate crime bill” that says that “whoever speaks against Islam should be penalized and the First Amendment cannot apply to that person.” (We have no idea what he is referring to.)

This all, he said, shows that the GOP is “changing and taking the Muslim side, so you know the infiltration of finances and power is moving that direction.”

Kris Kobach: 'Travesty' Of Same-Day Voter Registration Enables Fictional Voter Fraud Buses

Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and architect of anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures copied across the country, called same-day voter registration a “travesty” on a recent radio program, portraying his restrictive voting laws as necessary to prevent various mythical voter fraud schemes.

On his weekly radio program on Kansas City’s KCMO on October 25, Kobach took a call from a listener who presented a somewhat convoluted scheme involving performing facial recognition scanning on everyone who votes and going to the houses of people who cast ballots by mail in order to scan their faces, all in the name of preventing voter fraud.

When Kobach told the caller that this plan might be a little too costly and complicated to really work, the caller said that desperate times call for desperate measures, citing debunked voter fraud conspiracy theories, including a false story about Woods County, Ohio, and a version of the perennial “people bused in from a big city to vote fraudulently” story, this time one that appears to have originated on the conspiracy theory website Infowars.

“Well, I think that in Woods County, Ohio, 108 percent of the registered voters cast ballots for Obama,” the caller insisted, “and I think that in Wisconsin, busloads of people from Chicago were bused to polls where under state law you could register to vote on Election Day [inaudible] and not even have an ID.”

This, Kobach seemed to think, was a reasonable complaint, and told the caller that his restrictive voting policies have eliminated such problems in Kansas. “Right,” Kobach said, “which is why — proof of citizenship stops that, because you can’t have same-day registration, which is a travesty, I think same-day registration is a huge problem, and proof of citizenship prevents you from registering fictitious identities or registering under someone else’s name. So I think we, you can’t do those things in Kansas anymore.”

Kobach is currently attempting to purge 37,000 people from Kansas’ voter rolls for failing to provide a birth certificate, passport or other proof of citizenship when they registered to vote.

Republican Leaders Address Event Organized By White Nationalist-Linked Publisher

Two leading opponents of immigration, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Rep. Brian Babin of Texas, spoke this week at an annual “writers’ workshop” event held by the Social Contract Press, an anti-immigrant publication that frequently publishes the work of white nationalists, according to the Center for New Community.

Kobach is the brains behind a wide range of anti-immigrant and voter suppression legislation around the country. Babin, a freshman Republican, is the loudest champion in Congress of efforts to restrict refugee resettlement in the U.S., which CNC reports was a central topic at the event.

CNC writes:

The annual Writers’ Workshop is the brainchild of white nationalist and founder of the organized anti-immigrant movement, John Tanton. The meetings began as a venue for Tanton and colleagues to exchange ideas and strategies as they worked to build the then-nascent anti-immigrant movement that exists today. The invitation-only meetings have been attended by prominent white nationalists over the years including Peter Brimelow, Sam Francis, and Jared Taylor.

Tanton is no longer a regular at these meetings, but under the stewardship of KC McAlpin and Wayne Lutton, the white nationalist editor of TSCP’s quarterly journal, the bigotry sparking these meetings remains 39 years later.

SPLC summarizes the Social Contract Press’ racist and anti-immigrant content:

The Social Contract Press (TSCP) routinely publishes race-baiting articles penned by white nationalists. The press is a program of U.S. Inc, the foundation created by John Tanton, the racist founder and principal ideologue of the modern nativist movement. TSCP puts an academic veneer of legitimacy over what are essentially racist arguments about the inferiority of today's immigrants. Recent articles in its main product, The Social Contract, have propagated the myth that Latino activists want to occupy and 'reclaim' the American Southwest, argued that no Muslim immigrants should be allowed into the U.S., and claimed that multiculturalists are trying to replace "successful Euro-American culture" with "dysfunctional Third World cultures."

Kobach's Voting Restrictions Hitting Young, New Voters The Hardest

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is a leader of the GOP’s anti-immigrant and restrictive voting efforts, and has been trying out some of his most extreme ideas in his home state.

Kobach helped to push through one of the nation’s most restrictive voting laws, requiring people registering to vote to produce documentation of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. Because of this law, 36,000 people in Kansas have started voter registrations but not completed them, and now Kobach is purging that list of people who haven’t followed up to complete their registrations.

The New York Times today looked at the list of incomplete registrations in Kansas and found that a disproportionate number of people it affected were young and that the vast majority were new voters:

An analysis by The New York Times of the list of voters showed that more than half of them were under 35, and 20 percent were from 18 to 20 years old. Fifty-seven percent of the people on the list did not declare a party; 23 percent were Democrats; and 18 percent were Republicans. The vast majority — 90 percent — had never voted before.

“This disproportionately hits 18- to 24-year-olds,” said Jamie Shew, a Democrat and the county clerk for Douglas County, Kan. “For a lot of them, they say, ‘I’m not going to worry about it.’ They’re busy and this is just one more thing to do.”

Under the law, which was passed in 2011, registrants must prove citizenship by producing a document from an approved list, which includes birth certificates, passports and naturalization records. They may bring the document to a county clerk’s office or email a photo of it. Under Mr. Kobach’s new rule, if they fail to do so, they would be removed from the voters list after 90 days. Residents can try to register again even after being removed from the list.

The 36,000 people on the list represent about 2 percent of the state’s 1.7 million registered voters. The Wichita Eagle reported in September that more than 16 percent of people who have tried to register to vote since the law went into effect in January 2013 have been placed on the list.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/27/15

Kobach: Adoption By Gay Couples 'Certainly Not Good For The Kids'

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a rising star in the Republican Party who has helped to craft the party’s immigration and voting rights policies, said in a recent interview that his biggest concern about marriage equality is the prospect of gay couples adopting children, which he said is “certainly not good for the kids.”

Joe Miller, the failed Alaska GOP senate candidate and Kobach’s Yale Law School classmate, spoke with the Kansas official on his radio program in an interview posted online last week.

Kobach told Miller that the implications on religious liberty of the Supreme Court’s decision striking down gay marriage bans would be “not good.”

“Although the decision may not be used as a direct precedent for infringing upon the rights of us, of people of faith, to speak freely,” he said, “I think it’ll be used as kind of supporting law when the next thing comes down the pike, which will be probably an attack on the 501(c)3 status of churches that don’t affirm gay marriage, you might see some attacks on free speech by members of the cloth of any faith. I don’t know which is going to come first, but I think all of these things are now very real possibilities moving forward.”

“Of course, one thing that I really cared about in this whole gay marriage dispute over the last decade is adopted kids,” he added. “Now we have a situation where gay couples are adopting on the same terms and must be allowed to adopt on the same legal terms as heterosexual couples and, you know, that’s certainly not good for the kids. So, so many things are going to be following from this.”

Miller responded by citing a toilet paper ad in praise of single moms, saying, “It’s a world upside down, elites are trying to impose a different value system on this country, they’ve had a large degree of success and they certainly have a willing hand in the Supreme Court in their efforts.”

Kris Kobach: Criticism Of Me Is Like The 'Cultural Revolution In China'

Earlier this month, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who’s a leading anti-immigration strategist in the GOP, took a call on his radio program from someone who speculated that President Obama might end criminal prosecutions of African Americans “regardless of the crime.” Rather than simply disagree with the caller’s theory, Kobach responded by claiming that while such a scenario was “unlikely,” it wasn’t “a huge jump” since “it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws.” “Never say never,” he explained.

Kobach’s willingness to encourage theories about an anti-white conspiracy led by President Obama understandably raised some eyebrows in Kansas, where the Democratic leader in the state senate called on Kobach to resign.

The Republican official at first defended his remarks, claiming that “the Obama administration has already done what the caller suggests in the context of voting civil rights statutes.” He cited a right-wing myth about the Justice Department’s handling of a New Black Panthers Party case to substantiate his claim.

But then, on his March 8 radio program, Kobach struck back, accusing his critics of subjecting him to a “struggle session” like those perpetrated against “class enemies” during the Cultural Revolution in China. He also seemed to reverse course by insisting that he actually told the caller he disagreed with him.

“The left wing went crazy,” Kobach said of the hubbub surrounding his comments. “And why did they go crazy? Because they wanted me to call the caller to my show, they wanted me to call him an idiot, they wanted me to call him crazy, call him outrageous, say that he was a numbskull for even suggesting such a thing. And those of you who are regular listeners to the Kris Kobach show know that I am courteous to my callers, even those I disagree with, and I don’t call them names and I don’t denounce them, I will tell them I disagree with them — which I did – but I will not be rude to them.”

“Now here’s the sickness,” he continued, “and here is where so many on the left have forgotten history and they are now doomed to repeat it. Indeed they are repeating it. This is dangerously close to what happened in the Cultural Revolution in China from 1966 to 1971.”

In struggle sessions, he said, “you had to denounce the person who had unacceptable views. And if you didn’t denounce, then you too were unacceptable. That was the evil of the Cultural Revolution, where you had to denounce people who had unacceptable views.”

“What has the left been saying this past week? They’ve been saying that Kris Kobach is bad and is wrong and he’s horrible because he hasn’t denounced a caller to his show,” he said. “He hasn’t humiliated the caller to his show, and therefore Kobach must share the same views and he has to denounce. This is so closely akin to what the Chinese communists demanded during the Cultural Revolution. It’s scary. And I would wager that most of the left-wing nutjobs who criticized me this past week haven’t even heard of the Cultural Revolution.”

Kobach seems to have missed the fact that it was his own comments, not his failure to publicly humiliate the caller to his show, that drew so much criticism.

h/t The Topeka Capital-Journal

Republicans Stop at Nothing to Attack Immigrants

This op-ed by Michael Keegan, President, People For the American Way was originally published at The Huffington Post.

On March 3, the House of Representatives finally voted for a clean DHS funding bill. Much of the media reported that Republicans saw the irresponsibility of their threats to shut down Homeland Security and passed a clean bill. But they didn't, and no one should lose sight of that.

After trying every trick in the book to scuttle the bill, their leadership allowed the vote to happen, but Republicans never caved. Republicans voted over two to one (167-75)against the bill. It only passed because of full Democratic support.

It's clear that Republicans will stop at nothing to attack immigrants. The fact that national security was on the line was immaterial: Republicans saw an opportunity to display their animus toward all immigrants, and Latinos in particular, and they took it.

This publicity stunt gave Republicans the chance to pander yet again to the most virulent anti-immigrant members of their party. Take, for instance, William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration and his comments during the heat of the DHS fight in mid-February:

[I] wouldn't put anything past [the administration, because] the people who are supporting the organized and well-funded illegal alien invasion of our homeland have the blood of many thousands of Americans on their hands that have been killed, injured raped and robbed by illegal immigrants.

Sure, Gheen is a fringe extremist. But what he's saying is strikingly similar to what we're hearing from the Republican Party.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of Mitt Romney's "self-deportation" strategy, entertained the suggestion that Obama's executive actions could eventually result in Latinos conducting an "ethnic cleansing" of their fellow Americans. Sen. Tom Coburn, Rep. Mike Kelly, and Rep. Louie Gohmert have also warned that the president's immigration policies could lead to violence.

While some in the GOP tried to tell a different narrative -- that this was just about reining in presidential excess and not about their being anti-immigrant -- the fact is that the entire Republican Party is at fault. Not one House Republican signed the discharge petition to allow even a vote on the Senate's bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill. And Senate Republicans who backed that bill, including Sen. Marco Rubio, now say they no longer support it. At this very minute, House Republicans are bringing up even more anti-immigrant legislation, including deportation-only legislation and a bill that would drastically change U.S. asylum and humanitarian protections to put domestic violence survivors and victims of human trafficking at serious risk.

Ultimately, it was Ann Coulter who summed up the Republican position on the DHS debate: Undocumented immigrants (she calls them "illegal aliens [who] have killed, raped and maimed thousands of Americans") pose a greater threat to our nation than does ISIS." While not all Republicans used language as biting as that, it was crystal-clear that Republicans believe that attacking immigrants, not funding DHS, should be the top priority.

Who would have imagined that a national party, never mind the Republican Party, would be so opposed to finding any solution for the almost 12 million undocumented people already here that they would risk our national security during the dangerous time we are in now? Yet that's the reality of the GOP today, and it's our responsibility to hold them accountable.

PFAW

Kobach Defends Latest Claim About Anti-White Obama Conspiracy

Back in November, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach took a call on his weekly radio program from a listener who was worried that if Latinos became a majority in the U.S., they would embark on an “ethnic cleansing” of whites. Rather than simply refute the caller’s suggestion, Kobach – a leading anti-immigrant voice in the GOP -- responded by saying that President Obama was eroding the rule of law so while he didn’t “think it’s going to happen in America” he did “wonder what could happen.”

After we reported on the exchange, Kobach claimed that his remarks had been “ripped out of context” and that he was simply trying to be “polite” as the caller presented his paranoid predictions about the consequences of changing demographics.

So we weren’t entirely surprised this week when Kobach was presented with another paranoid prediction of whites as the victims of a government run by people of color and decided to go along with it too. As we reported yesterday, Kobach took a call from a listener who suggested that the Obama administration might be on the verge of declaring an end to the criminal prosecution of African Americans “regardless of the crime.” Kobach responded that while he thought it was “unlikely,” “it’​s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws” and “I’ve learned to say with this president, never say never.”

Now, Kobach is being forced again to defend his comments, and this time is standing by them, citing the Obama Justice Department’s decision to drop voter intimidation charges against the Fox News villains of the New Black Panther Party. Despite the claims of right-wing activists, there is no evidence to suggest that the Justice Department dropped the case against the small-time radical group because of the race of its members.

Kobach told the Wichita Eagle  that the New Black Panther Party case shows that the Obama administration has already fulfilled the caller’s nightmares “in one limited context":

Kobach dismissed criticism.
 
“My point was to bring attention to the Obama Justice Department’s position that some civil rights statutes can’t be enforced against people of color,” Kobach said. “For example, one of the Obama administration’s first actions it took in 2009 was to drop the slam-dunk charges against the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation.”
 
Kobach said the Justice Department dropped the charges specifically because of race, a claim that has been disputed.
 
“The point is the Obama administration has already done what the caller suggests in the context of voting civil rights statutes,” Kobach said Thursday. “So it’s already happened in one limited context. No, I don’t think it will happen in other contexts. I made it clear I don’t think that’s likely to happen.”

Correction: This post originally misidentified the newspaper that Kobach gave his response to. It was the Wichita Eagle, not the Kansas City Star.

Kris Kobach: 'Not A Huge Jump' To Think Obama Could Ban Criminal Prosecution Of Black People

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of the chief architects of the anti-immigrant movement’s legal and legislative strategies, told a caller to his weekly radio program last week that while he thought it was “unlikely,” it would not be a “huge jump” to predict that the Obama administration could call an end to the prosecutions of African Americans for any crime. Claiming that “it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws,” Kobach told listeners that “I’ve learned to say with this president, never say never.”

Kobach was discussing the University of Minnesota’s decision to stop including race and other physical descriptions in email alerts of crimes on campus unless they have “sufficient detail that would help identify” a perpetrator, when a listener named Stu called in to share a theory.

“Given the situation in Minnesota, given the recent story that Obama was instructing immigration enforcement to not enforce the immigration laws against illegal aliens, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch, Kris, to envision an announcement that any black person accused of a crime, charged with a crime, is not going to be prosecuted, regardless of the crime,” he said, adding that “we’ve already seen it from Eric Holder in his failure to prosecute the Black Panthers.”

Holder, Kobach agreed, “basically made it clear….that the civil rights laws were only to protect minority races, and he was not going to be enforcing them to the benefit of white people who were discriminated against on the basis of their race. So, that’s basically what you’ve described.”

“So the word is going to come down that there just won’t be any prosecutions of black criminals,” Stu predicted. “And I can see it happening. I don’t think I’m nuts for envisioning it.”

“Well, it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws,” Kobach responded. “So I guess it’s not a huge jump, I think it’s unlikely, but you know I’ve learned to say with this president, never say never.”

Kobach got national attention back in November when a caller presented the outlandish scenario that a Latino majority in the U.S. would embark on an “ethnic cleansing,” to which Kobach responded in a similar noncommittal way, saying that while he didn’t “think it’s going to happen in America,” under Obama “things are strange and they are happening.”

Joe Miller Fears Immigration Will Hurt 'Integrity' Of Population, Destroy Second Amendment

As we noted earlier, former GOP Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller is launching a new chapter as a right-wing radio host, and recruited an all-star cast of activists to be guests on his show in its opening weeks. Miller set the tone for the program with his very first guest, prominent anti-immigration activist and Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, who discussed with Miller the “cultural damage” being done by high levels of immigration.

Miller lamented to Kobach that too many people “react with sympathy and empathy” to undocumented immigrants when really President Obama’s executive actions on immigration amount to “the destruction of a nation.”

“If you’ve got a country that doesn’t protect its borders, doesn’t protect the integrity of its people, what do we become?” he asked.

He added that immigration reform would endanger the Second Amendment because “there’s no concept of the Second Amendment in Mexico, people don’t have the right to have guns, they don’t understand the constitutional right here.”

Kobach picked up on the argument, fearing that since “our schools aren’t pushing American culture and our American creed anymore,” immigrants are failing to assimilate, resulting in both “economic damage” and “cultural damage.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/12/15

  • Travis Gettys @ Raw Story: Conservative media tantrum left US vulnerable to attacks by ‘lone wolf’ right-wing radicals: report.

Kobach: Nonvoters Were 'Sitting In Front Of The TV All Day Talking On Their Obama Phones'

In the same radio program in which he considered the possibility that the Obama administration had opened the door to the “ethnic cleansing” of whites by Latino immigrants and called President Obama an underachieving product of “affirmative action culture,” Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach cited a racist meme to mock people who didn’t vote in the 2014 elections, saying that nonvoters were just “sitting in front of the TV all day talking on their Obama Phones.”

Kobach made the remarks on his Sunday radio program on Kansas City’s KCMO after taking a call from a listener who told him he had taken a bike to the polls because his truck was in the shop.

His voice dripping with sarcasm, Kobach told the listener: “Thank you so much for taking your rickety bike to vote, because I believe that your voice should be heard because you cared enough to vote. But President Obama thinks that the people who were sitting in front of the TV all day talking on their Obama Phones who didn’t vote, he speaks for those people. And I’m not saying any particular people, but I’m just saying someone who didn’t vote has an equal voice than you who actually got on your bike because you didn’t have a motor vehicle to get to the polls.”

Kobach, a former advisor to Mitt Romney and a driving force behind anti-immigrant laws and voting restrictions throughout the country, has been using his own state as a laboratory for restrictive voting laws, recently implementing a strict ID requirement that left about 20 percent of the state’s voter registration applications in limbo before election day.

Kobach Wonders If Hispanic Majority Would Conduct 'Ethnic Cleansing' In U.S.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a leader in the anti-immigrant movement, said during his Sunday radio program that it’s possible that a Hispanic majority in the U.S. could conduct an “ethnic cleansing.”

Kobach made his remarks in response to a caller who asked, “What happens, if you know your history, when one culture or one race or one religion overwhelms another culture or race?”

Claiming that immigrant rights groups are “calling for the return of the Spanish territory, which could be almost half of the United States,” the caller warned, “When one race or culture overwhelms another culture, they run them out or they kill them. And it’s a bigger issue than just being Democrats. And they know in numbers, once the numbers are so bad, they can pretty much do whatever they want to do.”

“What protects us in America from any kind of ethnic cleansing is the rule of law, of course,” Kobach responded. “And the rule of law used to be unassailable, used to be taken for granted in America. And now, of course, we have a president who disregards the law when it suits his interests. So, while I normally would answer that by saying, ‘Steve, of course we have the rule of law, that could never happen in America,’ I wonder what could happen. I still don’t think it’s going to happen in America, but I have to admit, things are strange and they are happening.”

Earlier in the program, Kobach used a more subtle form of racial dog-whistle by accusing Democrats of “replacing American voters” with "socialist" Hispanic voters. While reading polls about political attitudes broken out by race, Kobach said that “if you look at it through an ethnic lens,” Democrats want to create a “a locked-in vote for socialism” by “replacing American voters with newly legalized aliens.”

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