President Trump is decrying federal judges who have routinely blocked his immigration reform agenda, as former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is considered for the top position at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) precisely for his longtime legal expertise.
During conversations with the media on Tuesday, Trump slammed a recent decision by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco, California that blocks the administration’s implementation of the “Remain in Mexico” policy whereby border crossers and illegal aliens seeking asylum in the country are returned to Mexico until their court hearings.
“We have a judge that just ruled, incredibly, that he doesn’t want people staying in Mexico,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “Figure that one out. Nobody can believe these decisions we’re getting from the 9th Circuit. It’s a disgrace.”
Those frustrations with pro-migration attorneys and activist judges, insiders tell Breitbart News, are precisely the reason Kobach is uniquely fit to lead DHS considering his background of legal expertise on immigration dating back to the early days of President George W. Bush’s administration.
Currently, insiders say, Trump’s immigration reforms are stifled by career attorneys and bureaucrats opposed to changes to the immigration system.
Kobach, they assert, can carry out the president’s initiatives, as he has championed mainstream immigration reforms like E-Verify, an Entry/Exit system, and a sustainable immigration court process.
Kobach graduated summa cum laude and top of his class at Harvard University in 1988 before earning his doctorate in political science at the University of Oxford in 1992. Afterward, Kobach earned a law degree from Yale University in 1995, which kick-started his legal career.
While serving as a judicial clerk in the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Deanell Tacha, Kobach was hired as a constitutional law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
In 2001, Kobach won one of 12 coveted White House Fellowships — a selective program started in 1964 i8n which fellows are assigned to members of a president’s cabinet or leadership team.
Kobach was assigned to work for then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, just a week before the September 11 terrorist attacks, soon becoming Ashcroft’s chief adviser on immigration law and border security and Counselor to the Attorney General.
Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Kobach was tasked with overseeing the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s (INS) response to the attacks, addressing the core gaps in the country’s legal immigration system that allowed all of the 9/11 hijackers to arrive in the U.S. legally and five to remain in the country illegally.
While overseeing the Justice Department’s efforts to close loopholes in the legal immigration system after 9/11, Kobach created the National Security Entry/Exit Registration System (NSEERS) — the first Entry/Exit system in U.S. history.
Kobach’s NSEERS system provided U.S. officials with a streamlined process for registering, fingerprinting, and tracking legal immigrants deemed to be “high-risk” due to their ties to foreign countries labeled as state sponsors of terrorism.
In 2002, while at the Justice Department, Kobach overhauled the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to streamline the appellate court system in order to fast-track cases where outcomes were easily determined. Kobach’s BIA reform effort decreased the bottleneck in the system.
Years later, in 2009, Kobach co-authored Arizona’s mandatory E-Verify law, which was taken all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court ,where it was ultimately ruled constitutional. The reform, led by Kobach, resulted in not only mandatory E-Verify laws being adopted in Arizona, a border state, but also in non-border states like Mississippi and Alabama.
New York magazine writer Andrew Sullivan, a moderate-minded liberal, has called mandatory E-Verify “a completely humane way to enforce immigration law in the interior of the country via employment.”
Mandatory E-Verify is likewise supported by many lawmakers associated with the Republican establishment, including Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Rob Portman (R-OH), and has gained support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Conservative ranks in the Senate, insiders tell Breitbart News, have said perceived objections to Kobach are largely a charade and have no bearing on actual votes that the former Kansas Secretary of State would need to be confirmed to enact the president’s reforms at DHS.
Insiders say Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) could swing in Kobach’s favor, should he be nominated. Conservative ranks also believe Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is more likely than not to support a Kobach confirmation.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.