Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a member of the Trump transition team who has been floated as a Cabinet member, learned a new lesson the hard way: Don’t hold documents where the cameras can see them. In a clear shot of his photo op with Trump, some of the ideas on a position paper are clearly visible.
A quick guide, starting with Kobach’s Homeland Security ideas:
1. Update and reintroduce the NSEERS screening and tracking system (National Security Entry-Exit Registration System) that was in place from 2002-2005. All aliens from high-risk areas are tracked.
That tracking system, created after 9/11, was abandoned after tens of thousands of people were tracked and none of them had ties to al-Qaeda. It was opposed vigorously by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has pledged to sue again if a new version is adopted.
2. Add extreme vetting questions for high-risk aliens; question them regarding support for Sharia law, jihad, equality of men and women, the United States Constitution.
“Extreme vetting” was a Trump campaign promise that was never fleshed out this clearly.
3. Reduce intake of Syrian refugees to zero, using authority under the 1980 Refugee Act.
That was another promise, again described in blander terms than the ones given by Kobach.
The second section, obscured somewhat by Kobach’s hand, contains ideas for stepping up deportation:
193,000 criminal removal cases dropped by the Obama Administration. ICE guidance memorandums adopted by Obama administration; issue new guidance … “criminal alien” as any alien arrested for any crime, and any gang member.
As choppy as that is, the message is clear: Kobach, at least in this memo, is suggesting enforcement of laws that would ensnare undocumented immigrants already in the country. It’s a national version of the immigration bills he helped Arizona and Alabama pass after 2010.
The third section concerns the border wall:
in addition to the 386 miles of existing actual wall … Have entire 1,989 miles planned for rapid build. … the PATRIOT Act to prevent illegal aliens.
And the final visible section, with just a few legible words, seems to refer to voting rights. Kobach, who campaigned for his office in 2010 saying he needed to stop the plague of voter fraud, suggests drafting “amendments to the National Voter…,” with the rest of the phrase blocked by his wrist. It’s likely that he’s suggesting changes to the National Voter Registration Act, a Clinton-era law that allowed easy voter registration at DMVs, and which some Republicans have argued for clawing back.