Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who is a key member of the president-elect’s transition team claims Trump administration could start building the border wall immediately, without first seeking congressional approval.
Kobach says he is part of the team that currently advises Donald Trump on the immigration reform. In addition, the adviser who has pushed for tough immigration laws in Arizona and Kansas thinks Trump may reinstate a registry for Muslim immigrants.
Kobach claims he has acquired the info from dozens of discussions with Trump’s immigration advisers in the last three months. The president-elect’s transition team did not confirm the revelations. They said that Trump is not committed to following any advice on immigration issues at the moment.
Trump pledged to build a “great, great” wall on America’s southern border during the presidential campaign. Additionally, he initially vowed to mass deport 11 million illegal aliens. But on Sunday, he narrowed that number to 3 million as he now plans to deport only “criminal” illegals.
Trump also made the headlines with promises to prevent Muslim immigrants from entering the country until authorities figure out the source of extremist attacks such as the San Bernardino massacre.
On Friday, Kobach said Trump’s policy advisers were already drafting executive orders to implement these measures.
‘Extreme Vetting’ of Muslim Immigrants
The president-elect reportedly seeks “extreme vetting” of any Muslim immigrant entering the U.S. But to do this he will need a national registry of immigrants and visitors from countries with a “higher risk” of terrorism. Kobach said the system, which is called the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), was created during the George W. Bush’s era after the 9/11 attacks. The Trump adviser reportedly worked on the program.
Under the program, authorities interrogated and fingerprinted all immigrants and visitors from high-risk countries before entering the United States. Also, male non-citizens from these countries who resided in the U.S. had to enroll in the program as soon as they hit age 16.
In 2011, Obama administration shut down NSEERS because it was “redundant,” in the Department of Homeland Security’s own words. The move, however, had a political underpinning as civil rights activists had pushed for the closure. They argued that NSEERS unfairly targeted Muslims.
The expert explained how the new administration could speed up the construction of the border wall. He says the administration could bypass Congress by reappropriating existing DHS funds into the current budget. Nevertheless, Republican-controlled Congress may object to the plan.
Kobach has an extensive expertise in cracking down on illegal immigration. For example, in 2010, he drafted a law that required Arizona authorities to check the immigration status of drivers during traffic stops. A year later, the U.S. Supreme Court removed parts of the law at the request of Hispanics and civil rights advocates.
Kobach is also the co-author of a similar law in Kansas. The law required residents to provide documentation that they were citizens before registering to vote. Civil rights advocates managed to block that law as well.
In the expert’s view, illegal aliens should be deported before conviction if they face charges of violent crimes. Trump, on the other hand, said Sunday he would deport only illegals with a criminal record. About 3 million people currently fit into that category.
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