Monday, July 20, 2009
The Legal Mind behind Anti-immigrant Laws
The legal mind thinking up and promoting -- sometimes successfully, sometimes not -- all those nuisance ordinances restricting renting of apartments to the undocumented or imposing sanctions on local businessmen for hiring them or charging them with trespass is Kris W. Kobach. No red-neck nativist, he is a Harvard-Oxford-Yale lawyer. He claims his anti-immigration legal crusade was spurred by his shock to have learned that the 9/11 hijackers had entered the country illegally and were even stopped by police for traffic violations. Many of his legal tricks he learned from MALDEF -- often his opponent. The ACLU warns he's no push-over and a real challenge in court. He is active in many cases -- denying auto licenses or in-state tuition. He was at Hazelton, in Missouri, Texas and Arizona defending employer sanctions. While he claims not to be a nativist, he is closely linked to the leading national anti-immigration group -- Federal for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). For a profile of Kobach is the New York Times.