‘Zero’ Syrian refugees & ‘Extreme vetting’ of Muslims: Kris Kobach’s Homeland Security plan
Kobach was photographed arriving to meet Trump in Bedminster, New Jersey on Sunday holding a strategy document titled “Kobach Strategic Plan for First 365 Days.”
The Kansas secretary of state and member of the Trump transition team was there to discuss “border security, international terrorism and reforming federal bureaucracy,” Trump’s team said.
While some have expressed skepticism that Kobach would be so careless as to be pictured carrying such a document, the details revealed do echo Trump’s own campaign promises.
This is not an accident or oversight. Kobach carried this document in this way on purpose. He wanted people to see what it said & speculate. https://t.co/9nxodd6zCC— ♫ Jen ♫ (@jenrjones) November 21, 2016
It includes reviving the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), the 9/11 era system that subjected males aged 16 and older from 25 Muslim-majority countries to additional checks before entering the US, as well as being monitored while in the country. It also required men already in the US to register with immigration.
Kobach worked on the controversial system which ran from 2002-2005 when he was in the Justice Department.
“All aliens from high-risk areas are tracked,” his document reads.
Kobach wants to ramp up the NSEERS, proposing “extreme vetting” including questioning Muslims about “support for Sharia law, jihad, equality of men and women, the United States constitution.”
Also included are references to reducing the number of Syrian refugees “to zero.” Kobach points to the 1980 Refugee Act as a way to achieve this.
The next line on the document is partially covered by Kobach’s hand, but says, “…record number of criminal aliens in the first year.”
It mentions 193,000 criminal removal cases that were dropped by the Obama administration, and the “ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] guidance memoranda adopted by Obama,” proposing they “issue new guidance … [obscured] ‘criminal alien’ as any alien arrested for any crime, and any gang member.”
Another sentence mentions “repatriate their citizens who have committed crimes in the United States.”
The third heading is obscured, but the text visible in the paragraph below mentions “386 miles of existing actual wall,” likely referring to Trump's campaign promise to build a wall on the Mexican border.
The Patriot Act is also referenced, “to prevent illegal aliens..[obscured].” The only other visible words in the section are “immediately to forestall future lawsuits.”
This could suggest Kobach plans to extend the Patriot Act to cover the US from future lawsuits.
Kobach has been reported as being responsible for adding Trump’s border wall to the Republican Party’s platform. He also came up with Arizona’s 2010 SB-1070 law which allowed enforcement officers to demand to see papers of anyone they suspected of being illegally in the country. The law has been criticized for racial profiling.
He was labelled as an “extremist” by Democrat Jean Schodorf in 2014, who accused him of being tied to white nationalist groups due to his work with the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which was described as being a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.