POLITICS

Kris Kobach Is Demanding Some Insane Perks To Be Trump’s Immigration Czar: Report

A private plane on standby, weekends in Kansas and a top White House salary, oh my.

Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state who made a national name for himself peddling conspiracies about voter fraud, has presented the White House with a list of demands to become President Donald Trump’s “immigration czar,” according to a report Monday by The New York Times.

The outlet, citing multiple people familiar with Kobach’s list, said his conditions include 24-hour access to a government jet, walk-in privileges with the president, a staff of seven people, and a security detail, should it be deemed necessary.

Kobach has also said he wants to be paid the highest salary for White House senior staff members ($179,700 in 2018, according to annual compensation documents) and is asking that Trump nominate him to be the next secretary of homeland security by November.

He also wants to be able to take weekends off to go home to Kansas.

Trump has reportedly been mulling the idea of naming an immigration czar for more than a month amid continued frustrations about undocumented immigration at the southern U.S. border. The president recently shook up the list of senior officials tasked with carrying out his wishes, including by pushing out former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. He’s named a slew of hard-liners to replace officials that resisted his border policies in an attempt to see a more forceful crackdown on immigration.

A frustrated President Donald Trump has replaced his top immigration officials and contemplated naming an "immigration czar"
A frustrated President Donald Trump has replaced his top immigration officials and contemplated naming an "immigration czar" to be the new face of his administration's efforts to rein in immigration — possibly Kris Kobach (left).

Trump is considering other people for the role, and may be favoring Ken Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia, the Times reported.

The Associated Press reported last month that White House aides hoped an immigration czar could become the new face of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, effectively unifying the actions of various departments tasked with enforcing border security and processing thousands of migrants attempting to enter the United States. More than 100,000 people crossed the border in both March and April, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has struggled to deal with the scope of arrests and detentions. DHS has said the agency is at a “breaking point.”

At the same time, Trump has been demanding more “toughness.”

Kobach served as Kansas’ secretary of state from 2011 to January 2019, implementing some of the country’s strictest voter ID laws. During his tenure, Trump tapped Kobach to lead a short-lived commission on voter fraud amid unfounded claims that millions of people had voted illegally. That effort was disbanded in 2018 amid multiple lawsuits and claims from election experts that widespread fraud didn’t exist.

He launched an unsuccessful bid to Kansas’ governor in the 2018 election, earning Trump’s endorsement. But he remained wildly unpopular and lost to Democrat Laura Kelly.

In 2018, a judge also overturned the restrictive voter ID law that Kobach had championed, saying he failed to provide evidence that it was necessary or that there had been widespread voter fraud.

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