One of President Donald Trump’s top allies and a member of his voter fraud commission praised the president’s decision to end a program that shields from deportation about 800,000 immigrants who arrived in the US as children and allows them to apply for legal work permits.
In a contentious interview with NBC News’ Hallie Jackson, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach argued that those who enjoy protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, “represent a cross section of the illegal alien population,” arguing that while some are “scholars,” others are “criminals.”
“At this point the question is, ‘OK, you no longer have that illegal, that status that President Obama gave you and he had no authority to give you. So, you’re back into your illegal status,” Kobach said. “I would suggest go home and get in line, come into the United States legally, then get a green card, then become a citizen.”
“Do it the right way like so many hundreds of thousands of your countrymen are trying to do,” he continued. “What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with following the law?”
A member of Trump’s commission on supposed voter fraud, Kobach has emerged as one of the most vocal advocates for the president’s immigration agenda, having garnered a reputation as a conservative immigration legal expert during his time working in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.
Kobach has made his hardline positions on immigration a theme of his Kansas gubernatorial bid and his political ascendancy — he once agreed with an individual who called into his radio show saying immigration could lead to “ethic cleansing” of whites in America.
Unveiled in 2012 under President Barack Obama, the DACA program has served as a way to allow illegal immigrants who were brought to the US as children, many of whom have lived almost their entire lives in the US, to work in the country legally. Many immigration reform advocates have repeatedly pointed out that DACA recipients are a diverse group of Americans, but the program improved upward mobility for immigrants.
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