Here's What You Need to Know About Donald Trump's Potential Attorney General

November 16th 2016

President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly eyeing a Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for the role of Attorney General, a signal that he's planning to follow through on his campaign promises on immigration.

Kobach, who is already part of Trump's transition team, told Reuters that he has been a participant in over a dozen conference calls with Trump advisors about building the proposed Mexican border wall and ramping of deportation efforts.

ATTN: reached out to the Trump press office to verify that Kobach was contender for the position, but did not receive a response.

Kobach also claims to have discussed plans to create a registry for immigrants to the US from primarily Muslim countries. This is a different registry than the one Trump proposed in 2015, which would have been a comprehensive database of all Muslims living in the United States. The registry that Kobach is reportedly proposing is something that previously existed, and Kobach helped draft it.

Passed in 2002, the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System entailed the fingerprinting and interrogating of people from "high-risk" countries where extremist groups are active, along with the tracking of some males older than 16. Numerous complaints about the legality of the system prompted the government to shut it down, but as Attorney General, Kobach would have the power to reinstate it.

Kobach has also been intimately involved with Trump's Mexico wall, even claiming that he's the one who came up with the idea that Mexico will pay for it, by confiscating remittances from Mexican nationals living in the US. The cost of building the wall and staffing it with border patrol agents has been estimated at around $15 billion, and the money needs to come from Congress.

Fearing that such a process will take too long, Kobach told Reuters that he advised President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security to "hit the ground running" in regards to the wall. Kobach said his action plan includes drafting executive orders to move funds from the general DHS budget so construction can begin immediately. The legality of such orders is unclear, though former New York City mayor and Trump ally Rudy Giuliani has already made a similar claim.

Kobach is responsible for some of the most severe immigration laws in recent American history, including Arizona's SB1070. The bill, which inspired legal challenges and massive protests, allows law enforcement officers to demand papers proving citizenship to anybody they stopped and suspected of being in the country unlawfully. The Supreme Court struck down much of the bill in 2012, but upheld the portion that allowed police officers to check immigration statuses.

He has also supported laws in a number of states designed to discourage businesses from hiring undocumented immigrants, sued both San Francisco and the state of California over immigration-related matters, and authored Alabama's HB56, an anti-immigration law said to be even more harsh that SB1070.

By appointing Kobach as Attorney General, Trump would be sending a strong signal that immigration enforcement is a top priority for him, and that it will be pursued with vigor.

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