Kris Kobach has come up with a new reason to justify the Trump administration’s draconian immigration crackdown: He claims that similar policies would have prevented the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Trump rallies are rarely uneventful, and Saturday night’s event in Topeka, Kansas was no exception. This time it was Kobach — the state’s Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate — who was responsible for some of the controversy.
Kobach made the claim that tougher immigration policies, like the ones put in place since Trump took office, would have saved the lives of the roughly 3,000 people who perished in the 9/11 attacks.
“All 19 hijackers came into this country legally on temporary visas. Five of them became illegal mostly by overstaying their visas,” Kobach said.
“Four of the five were stopped by state and local law enforcement for speeding violations. They were illegally in the country at the time but the cops didn’t know it. They didn’t make an arrest even though could have if they had that information. Three of the four illegal aliens they could have arrested were pilots. If they had made those arrests, they could have stopped 9/11 from happening.”
Kobach has earned a reputation as an immigration hardliner, even by Republican standards. While his stances have earned him the vocal support of Trump, they have caused a bit of rift among members the Kansas Republican Party.
Laura Kelly, the Democratic nominee for Kansas governor, has won over the support of dozens of former state GOP officials, largely due to Kobach’s extreme positions.
Kobach also tied his anti-immigration sentiments to one of his favorite subjects: voter ID laws.
Claiming that they “created trust in our elections,” he suggested that a voter fraud epidemic is hurting the country. Kobach also claimed that Democrats are allowing it to happen, saying “they don’t care about U.S. citizens’ votes being canceled out.”
There is little to back up Kobach’s claims. Even the voter fraud commission that Kobach himself chaired could not find evidence of widespread voter fraud before being scrapped.
He also suffered losses in federal court over his attempts to implement strict voter registration law. This hasn’t deterred him, however, from making it a central plank of his bid for Kansas governor.