In what is being seen as wildly excessive demands in order to take a job as the nation’s immigration czar, Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state, has given the White House a list of 10 conditions.
President Donald Trump has been looking to create a position to coordinate immigration policy across government agencies.
The demands have been described to reporters by three sources.
Kobach, who once served as an adviser to the hardline immigration Sheriff Joe Arpaio and helped write an Arizona law requiring local officials to verify the citizenship of anyone they had “reasonable suspicion” to believe was an unauthorized immigrant, said he would need to be the main television spokesman for the Trump administration on immigration policy.
He also wants a guarantee that cabinet secretaries whose portfolios relate to immigration, would defer to him, with the president mediating disputes if need be.
The list was submitted by Kobach in recent weeks, as he discussed his interest in the job.
Here are some other conditions he asked for:
• He would need a staff of seven reporting to him.
• “Walk-in” privileges to the Oval Office.
• A security detail, if deemed necessary.
• The title of assistant to the president.
• He would need access to the jet, he said, for weekly visits to the border and travel back to Kansas on the weekends.
Trump has been considering others for the role and he is said to be leaning toward Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the former Virginia attorney general.
But on Tuesday, he named Cuccinelli to coordinate immigration policy at the Department of Homeland Security.
Kobach, a graduate of Harvard, Oxford and Yale Law School, served as Kansas’ secretary of state from 2011 until January. While in that job, he was picked by Trump to lead a voter fraud commission after the president insisted that the 2016 election was marred by illegal votes.
The commission was disbanded in 2018, with one expert on election law, Richard L. Hasen, describing its chairman as “a leader nationally in making irresponsible claims that voter fraud is a major problem in this country.”
The same year, Kobach, a former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, also ran for governor, losing to a Democrat, Laura Kelly. He lost a race for the House in 2004.
After Kirstjen Nielsen, the former homeland security secretary, resigned in April, Trump met with Kobach but was convinced that he would have a hard time winning Senate confirmation for the position, and the two discussed the possible creation of an immigration czar.
Here’s one thing we can predict: If Kobach gets his demands met, most of the other members of the cabinet will insist they would need comparable assets for their positions.