September 1, 2017

Kris Kobach, a member of the so-called president's so-called election integrity commission, is here to pretend that "illegals" are voting which thus requires massive Republican interference in voter rolls. Also, it was revealed this week that he gets a paycheck from Breitbart because of course he does.

He appeared on Velshi & Ruhle this morning and was willing to bet a steak dinner that Neil Gorsuch will rule the way Trump wants him to? That's comforting, I'm sure, to the innocent offspring who came to the US as minors and are undocumented through no fault of their own. Kobach will buy the steak if you win your ability to stay in the US, kids! That's the ONLY consequence he'll ever pay.

And it's why he gets away with painting Dreamers as, you know, at least partially, gangbangers and thugs and gang members who ICE really should deport.

This is about race and racism and the white supremacy that runs the Republican Party, particularly in the heartland where people like Kobach and Steve King and others get elected based on anti-Mexican bigotry, the end. Kobach is expected to run for governor of Kansas, so keep those dog whistles blowing!


KOBACH: If you want to bet a steak dinner, I'd be willing to bet the Supreme Court rules it's unconstitutional.

VELSHI: No one loses if we bet a steak dinner. I'll take the bet. Legalities, this is not our specialty. It's yours more than is ours. But this is based on DACA was based on a principle called prosecutorial discretion, prioritizing prosecution and getting to the most important issues first. Tom Bossert said we're going to give priorities to getting the people out of here who are both undocumented immigrants and have committed some sort of crime. Again, by definition, if you are in DACA, you can't have committed a crime. If you committed a crime, you're out.

RUHLE: And can't get renewed.

VELSHI: From a -- can't get renewed, correct. From a perspective of prosecution discretion, these guys aren't a priority.

KOBACH: Well, actually, it's not correct to say if you haven't committed a crime you're not in DACA. It allows you to get amnesty as long as you're not convicted --

RUHLE: hold on a second, if you haven't been convicted, you haven't committed a crime.

KOBACH: Right. What happens is a lot of gang bangers get arrested but the stay won't have the resources to prosecute all of them and so they are released. Used to be before DACA that the local county sheriff would release them to ICE in the hopes ICE would deport them. We have many cases of such individuals getting the DACA amnesty. They've been arrested and haven't been convicted. But that arrest isn't enough to disqualify them from DACA. The DACA, we shouldn't have any illusion, it is a cross section of the illegal alien population. There are criminals, there are scholars, but it's not a -- an especially higher achieving cross section of the --

RUHLE: But we have to make it clear, if you're not convicted of a crime in the eyes of the US government, we don't believe you've committed one.

KOBACH: Well, but on the other hand, if you have been arrested and you are a gang member, which is some of the cases of these...There are many, many

RUHLE: Sir, no. -- you're presumed innocent. You're presumed innocent until proven guilty.

KOBACH: Right, but let's remember, removal -- right, let me unpack what you just said. Removal is not a criminal penalty. If you're removed to your home you have not been convicted of a crime. So yes, law enforcement can make judgments and say we have to choose, we have limited resources, which person do we remove first. Let's remove the person arrested for gang banging activity or who is gang member. That is a decision that can be made and it's not a presumption of innocence question because removal again is not a criminal penalty, you're simply asking the person to go back home.

RUHLE: I'm going to take a leap. I might not know how Neil Gorsuch would vote and would take a leap to say Mark Zuckerberg isn't looking to hire gang bangers. He has put together a group of CEOs backing the Dreamers. President Trump, pro-business president as he likes to say he is, why wouldn't he or you see CEOs, the most successful leading CEOs saying 'we need these employees, immigration, they will help us build, help the US economy.' I don't think Mark Zuckerberg is looking to hire the Crips and thugs.

KOBACH: You often see CEOs and coalitions of business owners who support amnesty of any sort. Why do they do it? Because they want to see cheaper labor. If you have more labor, especially alien labor pushed into the market willing to accept employment for a lower wage or salary, they are allowed to depress wages -- do you think they are looking for cheap labor?

RUHLE: Do you think Google, Facebook, and Apple are looking for cheap labor!?

KOBACH: Sure, they want people cheaper -- all of these employers would like to hire someone at a lower cost. If they employ someone -- same applies to college graduates. If you can get someone from another country at the lower price, many employers, unfortunately, will seek out that person who they can hire for cheaper.

VELSHI: Let me ask you this, because you're going to run for governor. This is an important idea to think about. We know a lot of people in the country think we should have comprehensive immigration reform. Steven Miller has come out with a thing called the Raise Act, counter economically to the president's goal of increasing GDP growth, because to have greater growth in a mature economy like ours, you have to have labor and people to work. We have a negative replacement rate in the United States as you know. You do actually have to get immigrants. Which already got this crowd of people here. Why is it -- you do accept we need more immigrants right, rather than fewer?

KOBACH: Right, but you have to have immigration -- I agree, you have to have some immigration, but in the interest of the United States. What the Raise Act would do is put a reasonable cap on the number of green cards. Roughly 500,000 instead of the million we're doing right now. 500,000 was a number we saw back in the early '90's and that's a more reasonable number that doesn't push down wages. We can make adjustments going forward but let's not have immigration come in that hurts the interest of working class and science and technology workers in the United States. Let's make sure Americans are better off whenever we allow in people from other countries.

RUHLE: Let's make sure we have that steak dinner and please know that --

VELSHI: For the record because we're on TV, we're taking the bet, right, because if Neil Gorsuch votes against DACA we have to buy you a steak and if he doesn't, you have to buy us a steak but in the end all three get a steak which is real great.

KOBACH: All right, yes

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.