Sunday, June 23, 2024

Author of Arizona Law Has National Agenda

Arizona Watch

According to a report on, Arizona’s controversial new anti-immigration law which has galvanized both sides of the debate does not even have its origins in the border state.  Rather, it was crafted by Kris Kobach, an attorney in Kansas who is developing a national reputation for being an expert on immigration enforcement.

Kobach began his foray into immigration policy at Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft where he oversaw federal efforts to tighten border security.  In this capacity he also dedicated himself to writing and defending city and state immigration laws.

He cites an interest in Proposition 187, a California initiative championed by the Governor Pete Wilson which denied social services to undocumented immigrants residing in the state. A federal court in California ruled the law unconstitutional.

Kobach also furthered his work on immigration policy by joining FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a DC-based group that describes itself as working to “stop illegal immigration and decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.”  FAIR is included on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of “hate groups” for its stance on immigration.

He was hired by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to help defend a state law that made it illegal to knowingly hire undocumented workers.  State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of SB1070, then called on him for assistance crafting the new bill.

Of his efforts on SB 1070 Kobach says, “I think it will be difficult for the plaintiffs challenging this,” he said. “They are heavy on political rhetoric but light on legal arguments.”

While the Arizona law is being watched as a model for other states, next on the agenda of Pearce, with the support of Kobach, will be an attempt to deny US citizenship to the children who are born in Arizona to undocumented parents.

Now a professor of constitutional and immigration law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, Kobach is also a candidate for secretary of state in Kansas.

AZ Central