Meet the Anti-Immigrant Zealot Who Told Donald Trump How to Pay for That Stupid Wall
It’s tempting to lay the alarming rise of white nationalism in the United States at the feet of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Before him, after all, overt racism and hysteria about immigration were seemingly relegated to the margins of society and social media, a veritable sea of screeching Twitter eggs that has since been dubbed the “alt-right.”
“The laws he’s come up with are deeply, deeply flawed and almost never pass any kind of judicial scrutiny,” Omar Jadwat, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU’s immigrant rights division, explained over the phone. “These states and cities try to defend these laws in court, often paying Kris a bunch of money in the process.”But the grim reality is that right-wing activists have been working tirelessly for more than a decade to convince conservative voters that the biggest problem facing the nation isn’t climate change or income inequality or health care access, but immigration, especially from Spanish-speaking countries. Through efforts focused on the state and local level, these activists have been quietly building conservative agitation over immigration, and it was this panic that led to the rise of Trump.
The most important person in this movement just might be the secretary of state of Kansas, a guy named Kris Kobach. Even though his government position should be a full-time job, Kobach has a hefty side career going serving as the country’s most tireless anti-immigration activist.