(Reuters/NAN) Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, said Donald Trump’s administration could push ahead rapidly on construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall without seeking immediate congressional approval.
Kris Kobach, who helped write tough immigration laws in Arizona and elsewhere, an architect of anti-immigration efforts who said he is advising President-elect Donald Trump, disclosed this on Wednesday in Missouri.
He said that Trump’s policy advisers have also discussed drafting a proposal for his consideration to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.
Kobach, a key member of Trump’s transition team, said he had participated in regular conference calls with about a dozen Trump immigration advisers for the past two to three months.
Trump during his campaign made building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border a central issue of his campaign and had pledged to step up immigration enforcement against the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.
He has also said he supports “extreme vetting” of Muslims entering U.S. as a national security measure.
Kobach disclosed that the immigration group had discussed drafting executive orders for the president-elect’s review “so that Trump and the Department of Homeland Security hit the ground running”.
He said to implement Trump’s call for “extreme vetting” of some Muslim immigrants, the immigration policy group could recommend the reinstatement of a national registry of immigrants and visitors who enter the country on visas from countries where extremist organisations are active.
Kobach helped design the programme, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, while serving in Republican President George W. Bush’s Department of Justice after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States by al Qaeda militants.
Kobach said the immigration advisers were also looking at how the Homeland Security Department could move rapidly on border wall construction without approval from Congress by re-appropriating existing funds in the current budget.
He acknowledged that “future fiscal years would require additional appropriations”.
Congress, which is controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, could object to redirecting Homeland Security Department funds designated for other purposes. (Reuters/NAN)