President Donald Trump is in the market for an immigration czar to help implement his dystopian policies at the border, and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is in the market for, well, a job of some sort. What’s not to like here! To be fair, Kobach has immigration and voter suppression instincts similar to Trump’s, not to mention a kindred penchant for self-aggrandizing. All of that has added up to Kobach’s name being bandied about as a potential figurehead to lead Trump’s anti-immigration charge.
So will Kobach get the gig? The New York Times reports that Kobach has, ahem, a few demands before he would consider signing on the dotted line. Kobach’s deal-breakers include, but are not limited to: “24/7 access” to a jet, a guarantee he will be nominated to head the Department of Homeland Security by November, along with a pledge that current Cabinet members will defer to him on immigration matters. Seems pretty reasonable so far.
Here’s the full list from the Times:
1. Office in the West Wing.
2. Walk-in privileges with the president.
3. Assistant to the President rank—at highest pay level for WH senior staff.
4. Staff of 7 people (2 attorneys, 2 research analysts, 1 scheduler, 1 media person, 1 assistant).
5. POTUS sits down individually with Czar and the secretaries of Homeland Security, Defense, Justice, Ag, Interior, and Commerce, and tells each of the Secretaries to follow the directives of the Czar without delay, subject to appeal to the President in cases of disagreement.
6. 24/7 access to either a DHS or DOD jet. Czar must be on the border every week.
7. Ability to spend weekends in KS with family on way from border back to DC, unless POTUS needs Czar elsewhere.
8. Security detail if deemed necessary after security review.
9. Serve as the face of Trump immigration policy - the principal spokesman on television and in the media.
10. Promise that by November 1, 2019, the president will nominate Kris Kobach to be DHS Secretary, unless Kobach wishes to continue in Czar position.
Kobach reportedly discussed with Trump the possibility of creating a czar role, a job that Kobach could, crucially, assume without Senate confirmation. Getting the nod from the Senate is considered a serious roadblock for Kobach, who was once seen as a rising star in the party but made a mockery of himself by running Trump’s pet voter fraud commission. The probe, shockingly, was disbanded without having done much of anything. Now, the Senate seems to be adhering to a general trend started by voters that the more one gets to know Kobach, the less one likes him. The most indisputable evidence of this theorem to date is that Kobach ran for governor of Kansas in 2018 and managed to get the GOP nomination, before losing to a Democrat—in Kansas.