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Backlash against Kris Kobach Grows as Support for Alabama’s HB 56 Anti-Immigrant Law Wanes

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kris kobachAs HB 56, the notorious Alabama anti-immigrant law, faces more scrutiny, the backlash against its architect, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, continues to grow.

The state legislature which passed HB 56 has returned to session in Alabama, only to find a new study which posits that the law could end up costing the state $10.6 billion, activist groups  bent on recruiting the state’s powerful auto manufacturing industry to their anti-HB 56 cause, and a new bill from one of their own—State Sen. Gerald Dial, who originally supported HB 56—which would repeal many of the law’s provisions.

People are fed up with HB 56, and they know Kris Kobach is the one to blame.

From Mary Sanchez at the Kansas City Star:

The rebukes aren’t coming from his usual critics, those who display sanity about the federal reforms needed to effectively deal with illegal immigration.

No, Kobach’s supporters are barking back now. The legislators and taxpayers who bought into his schemes to make the lives of illegal immigrants so hellish that they “self-deport.”

The editorial board of the Press-Register in Mobile, Ala., accused Kobach of banking on exactly what happened there — costly court challenges and a wide-range of unintended consequences for legal residents.

“Alabama allowed itself to be used as a guinea pig on illegal immigration so that a Kansas lawyer could build his political career,” the editorial said.

So Alabama’s legislature has gone to work, figuring out how to rewrite or repeal the damage done by Kobach’s handiwork, measures passed in 2011.

On Monday, the Immigration Policy Center released “Discrediting ‘Self Deportation’ As Immigration Policy.” Yes, you can make life harsh for immigrants, but everyone else suffers, too. Economists predict Alabama’s gross domestic product will lose up to $10.8 billion as a result, and $57 million to $264 million more in state income and sales tax collections could evaporate.


Furthermore, since GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was so quick to embrace Kobach’s endorsement earlier this year, we predict that it’s only a matter of time before this blowback starts falling on him and his “self deportation” shenanigans, as well.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.