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The lawyer behind the odious Arizona and Alabama “show me your papers” laws, Kris Kobach, the man driving the immigration agenda of Mitt Romney’s Republican Party, has somehow gone even further off the rails and is now embracing discredited “birther” conspiracy theories.
As Talking Points Memo highlights, “Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an informal advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said on Thursday he and his fellow members of a state board were considering removing President Barack Obama from the Kansas ballot this November.” According to the Topeka Capitol-Journal, Kobach and the board’s rationale is based around a supposed lack of evidence regarding the veracity of President Obama’s birth certificate.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “The question isn’t just the obvious ‘what’s the matter with Kansas?’ but the more troubling, ‘what’s the matter with Romney and the Republican Party that they keep giving Kris Kobach an influential seat at the table’?”
While Kobach’s role in the Romney campaign may be unofficial, his relationship with Romney and the reins of power in the Republican Party are both longstanding and influential. Most notably, Kobach persuaded Romney to embrace the concept of “self-deportation” and recently made a successful push for the RNC’s 2012 platform to include a Draconian set of immigration proposals. Meanwhile, Kobach continues to escalate his associations with extremist groups. He recently filed a lawsuit seeking to block the implementation of the DREAMer deferred action program. Now, he is legitimizing the birther movement and considering the outrageous step of removing the sitting President’s name from the ballot.
Romney’s affiliation with Kobach is far from the only troubling association that he has with anti-immigrant leaders. Just last week, Romney endorsed outlandish anti-immigrant Congressman Steve King’s (R-IA) re-election, calling him the kind of “partner” Romney needs in Washington, DC. And Romney and nearly every GOP candidate courted the notorious anti-Latino Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s endorsement during the 2012 Republican primary, though only Romney received the Arpaio endorsement during Romney’s 2008 presidential run.
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