May 14, 2010


The Man Behind Arizona’s Immigration Law
by Suzy Khimm , Mother Jones

Conservative rising star Kris Kobach aims to bring his get-tough legal arguments to a state near you.

Kris Kobach
Kris Kobach (photo courtesy UMKC School of Law)
When Arizona passed a law that handed local police unprecedented authority to investigate and arrest suspected illegal immigrants, the state ignited a firestorm in a midterm election year. And for Kris Kobach, the former Bush administration lawyer who helped draft the legislation, the crackdown in Arizona is just the beginning.

A telegenic law professor with stellar academic credentials — Harvard undergrad, Yale Law School — Kobach has been the brains behind similarly tough local-level immigration measures and legal actions across the country. And he says he's discussing with officials about whether measures similar to the Arizona law could be passed elsewhere. "I have been contacted by legislators in other states…with questions about the Arizona statutes," Kobach says in an interview. He won't reveal where most of these inquiries were from, but said he was talking to state legislators in Kansas — where he's also running for secretary of state this fall. Already, state and national lawmakers in Oklahoma, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia have vowed to pass copycat measures.

For the complete story, go to Mother Jones