Sunday, July 14, 2013

holding the line against moderation in the immigration debate..,


NYTimes | Over the past several months, Kris W. Kobach, Kansas’ staunchly conservative secretary of state, has seen numerous Republicans tack toward the center on immigration policy.

He watched a Senate debate that resulted in an immigration overhaul bill that largely ignored the strict enforcement measures he has spent a career championing across the country: denying utilities, housing and public education to illegal immigrants, and using local law enforcement to catch them.

Moderation on immigration, some Republicans say, is vital to the future of the party if it hopes to remain relevant in a country of shifting demographics. But even if public sentiment and electoral math on immigration might be bending away from his principles, Mr. Kobach is not budging.

“Any politician who thinks, ‘Oh, we just cast one vote, and then all of a sudden this demographic group comes flocking to us,’ they’re being superficial Washington idiots,” Mr. Kobach said.

In his third year as secretary of state, Mr. Kobach continues to make immigration a centerpiece of his work, even when it is far outside the boundaries of the office he was elected to. As the immigration debate moved last week to the more conservative House, he hoped to find a more receptive audience as he tried to insert his beliefs into the national dialogue.

His supporters say he is succeeding in such efforts; his detractors call him old news.